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White goods makers in a festive mood

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White goods makers in a festive mood

This festive season is turning out to be a boom time for marketers. October saw automobile companies posting record sales growth. Now, consumer durables firms are witnessing a 30 per cent jump in sales over last year.

This year, the consumer durables industry expects festive buying to take sales figures beyond the Rs 4,500 crore mark. In comparison, overall sales in the country during October and November last year were around Rs 3,500 crore.

Market leader LG had set a sales target of Rs 1,300 crore, 35 per cent more than last year’s, before the season kicked off. “Consumer sentiment this year is so good that we are on track to beat our own estimates,” said Salil Kapoor, marketing head of LG India.

Buoyed by positive buying sentiment, rival Korean firm Samsung, too, has upped its sales estimates from Rs 500 crore just a few weeks ago to Rs 575 crore. According to the company, both urban and rural markets are doing well.

“We have had a very promising run during Onam in Kerala. Market conditions are favourable for growth to exceed 30 per cent,” said Ravinder Zutshi, vice-president (sales), Samsung India.

Mirc Electronics saw colour television set sales jump by over 54 per cent to an all-time high of 254,100 last month, compared with 164,669 sold in October last year. The company expects to sell around 375,000 sets by the end of the season, with revenues close to Rs 500 crore.

Philips India, which has seen sales jump more than 50 per cent during Onam this year, is on track to achieve its Rs 400 crore sales target. This will mark a 35 per cent growth over 2003.

Interestingly, durables manufacturers are expecting a boom despite the fact that rising input costs have left them with little room to offer big festival discounts.

Buoyant sales have dispelled fears of the bad monsoon proving to be a damper for consumer durables firms. According to Ajay Kapila, marketing and sales head of Electrolux Kelvinator, the impact of a poor monsoon in certain pockets has been negated by the healthy offtake of premium lifestyle products in urban areas.

“The momentum is so good that we are likely to double our festival season sales this year,” Kapila added.


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