30 Nov 2009

Whitewear maker reliant on Australian market

1:48 pm on 30 November 2009

Fisher and Paykel Appliances will be heavily reliant on the Australian market over the coming year as the whiteware maker expects the lucrative US market to remain weak until 2011.

Shares in Fisher & Paykel Appliances plunged 8% on Friday, after lower sales and a writedown of its assets led it to report a half-year loss of $82.4 million.

Australia remains Fisher & Paykel Appliances biggest market.

However, it lost ground by not having enough product to supply the relatively bouyant market - a slip-up acting chief executive Stuart Broadhurst says is being addressed.

In the US market, Mr Broadhurt says its strategy is to seek retailers with a wide reach such as the recent deal with Sears.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances is also expanding into China as part of its tie-up with 20% shareholder Haier.

Haier aims to use Fisher & Paykel Appliances' products at the top end of the market, with a goal of capturing 30% of the market.

However, Mr Broadhurst says it will not be until the 2011 financial year that revenue from China becomes more meaningful.