29 Nov 2010

China market sluggish for Fisher and Paykel

6:55 am on 29 November 2010

Listed company Fisher & Paykel Appliances says progress in piercing the Chinese market has been slower than expected, due to delays in offering a complete suite of appliances for newly-built apartments.

The Auckland-based company made a profit of $11.3 million in the six months to September, bolstered by a robust Australian economy which mostly offset weak demand in New Zealand and America.

China has emerged as another market to sell whiteware, particularly as the company can use the crucial distribution network of Chinese firm Haier, the cornerstone shareholder in Fisher & Paykel Appliances.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances chief executive Stuart Broadhurst says has sold 10% of what it expected in China in the first half, but expects sales to pick up in the second half of the year.

He says the company is focussing on getting the right product to the market through the standards approval process.

Mr Broadhurst says the firm needs to be able to offer customers a complete package, especially for apartments.