Thu, Mar 07, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Airmate plans to diversify, grow China market share

BIG PLANS:The firm plans to capitalize on air quality concerns in China, its biggest market, with dehumidifiers and air purifiers, and automate more of its production

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Cayman Islands-registered home appliance maker Airmate International Co (艾美特) yesterday said it plans to diversify its product portfolio and expand its market share in China as the company prepares for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on March 21.

The company plans to develop new home appliance lineups, to include customized dehumidifiers and air purifiers at a time when China is seeking to improve air quality amid accelerated industrialization, Airmate chief executive officer Yang Yu-fu (楊浴復) said in a pre-IPO press conference.

Airmate will issue 12.25 million new shares for the listing and it has tentatively priced each of its shares at NT$62, which will allow the company to raise NT$759.5 million (US$25.58 million).

During the first three quarters of last year, Airmate's net income grew 242 percent year-on-year to NT$444 million, with earnings per share of NT$4.15. Sales expanded 10 percent to NT$9.19 billion during that period from NT$8.36 billion for the same period in 2011.

Founded in 1991, Airmate is a Taiwanese home appliance maker based in Shenzhen, China. The company has about 8,000 employees with a paid-in capital of NT$1.22 billion.

The firm manufactures components used in home appliances for overseas brands on a contract basis, with customers including Japan’s Sampo Corp and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co.

Currently, Airmate’s heaters and fans are its two main products, with their sales accounting for 59 percent and 28 percent of the firm’s total sales last year respectively, securing more than a 20 percent market share in China.

Contributions from sales in China accounted for more than 50 percent of the company’s total revenue last year, the company said.

Yang said Airmate had built sales channels at more than 12,000 tier-one retailers in 31 cities in China, adding that the firm had about 100 clients in 60 countries around the world.

However, soaring labor costs in China have prompted the company to consider gradually replacing human labor with automation to lower costs, he said.

The company will continue adopting product customization strategies and expand its distribution channels to e-commerce, Yang said.

The company has set a sales growth target of 30 percent for its e-commerce business this year, he added.

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