Wed, Mar 19, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Airmate to build new US$58.18m factory in China

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Home appliance maker Airmate International Co (艾美特) yesterday said it plans to spend 360 million yuan (US$58.18 million) on a new factory in China’s Jiangxi Province this year, as part of the company’s expansion.

“We expect the new plant to help expand Airmate’s total capacity, while reducing its operating costs,” Airmate investor relations manager Yasung Chuang (莊亞菘) told a conference in Taipei.

With the plant set to start operations in October, Airmate’s annual capacity would increase 150 percent to 50 million units of home appliances from the current 20 million units, Chuang said.

The increased capacity is expected to contribute 5 billion to 7 billion yuan to the company each year, the company said. The new plant will also help cut labor costs and lower product delivery costs by 10 to 30 percent a year, it added.

“Our goal remains unchanged, and that is to install at least one Airmate-branded home appliance in every household in China,” Chuang said, adding that Airmate’s fan and heater product market shares had reached 22 percent and 24 percent respectively last year, making it the country’s second-largest and top fan and heater vendor.

Supported by increased sales of fans and heaters, Airmate grew its total annual sales by 22.28 percent to a record high of NT$12.98 billion (US$428.07 million) last year, according to the company’s latest financial report.

The Cayman Islands-registered company did not release its annual profits last year, saying the account was pending.

During the first three quarters of last year, Airmate’s net profits rose 70.46 percent to NT$699.18 million from the same period a year ago.

Earnings per share during the January-to-September period last year amounted to NT$4.68, up 8.58 percent from NT$4.31 during the same period in 2012, the report showed.

“Airmate will keep optimizing its product portfolio this year to improve its gross margin and to reduce negative impacts to the company’s quarterly sales from seasonal factors,” company chief executive officer Yang Yu-fu (楊浴復) said.

Yang said fans and heaters accounted for 57.54 percent and 34.16 percent of Airmate’s total sales respectively last year, “which seemed too large.”

Considering the peak season for fans and heaters is in summer and winter every year, Airmate plans to include dehumidifiers in its core product mix from this year to avoid seasonal factors dragging quarterly sales in spring and fall, Yang said.

Airmate forecasts that its sales for this year would grow 13 percent to 20 percent to range from NT$14.66 billion to NT$15.57 billion, driven largely by sales of dehumidifiers and air purifiers that are scheduled to be mass-produced and shipped from the second half of the year, Chuang said.

Chuang said Airmate had targeted China because the country has a huge air quality problem as a result of its rapid modernization and industrialization.

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