Thu, Jun 26, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Airmate ramps up e-commerce

CLEAR THE AIR:Appliance maker Airmate yesterday said it plans to boost net profit by selling a higher percentage of air-purifying machines on e-commerce platforms

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Home appliance maker Airmate International Co (艾美特) yesterday said it aims to grow net profit by 10 percent this year from NT$612 million (US$20.43 million) last year by selling more air-purifying machines through e-commerce platforms.

Headquartered in Shenzhen, Airmate sells fans and heaters in China and has a market share of more than 20 percent, making it the second-biggest fan brand in China, after Hong Kong’s Midea Group (美的電器).

Fans and heaters contributed about 60 percent of the company’s sales of NT$12.98 billion last year, while smaller home appliances such as air purifiers, cookers and dehumidifiers made up the remaining 40 percent.

Chief executive officer Yang Yu-fu (楊浴復) said the company has started mass production of air purifying machines this year as it seeks new sales drivers.

“We will keep adjusting our inventories and developing more products,” Yang said at Airmate’s general annual meeting in Taipei.

The company has set a goal of increasing sales contributions from its smaller home appliances to 15 percent of the company’s total sales this year from 6 percent last year, he told shareholders.

Airmate also plans to increase its sales channels in China to include more e-commerce Web sites this year, Yang said, adding that the company has been selling products at shopping sites (淘寶), (京東商城) and (蘇寧易購).

Sales generated from e-commerce Web sites accounted for 12 percent of Airmate’s total sales last year, and the proportion is expected to exceed 20 percent this year, Yang said.

Shareholders yesterday approved Airmate’s proposal to distribute NT$2.55 of cash dividend per share on record-high earnings of NT$612 million, or NT$5.1 per share, last year.

For this month, Yang forecast the sales would be higher than the record level of NT$1.68 billion in May last year on expectations of stronger sales of fans in summer.

While sales for this quarter were estimated to be flat at NT$4.77 billion compared with a year ago, Yang said sales for next quarter would grow “significantly” quarter-on-quarter as the company is set to start shipping new air-purifying machines next quarter.

The company aims to ship 300,000 air purifying machines this year, which should also lift the company’s full-year net profit and gross margin, he said.

Airmate’s gross margin was 20.23 percent last year.

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