Philips confident of strong rise in sales despite ‘flat’ market

News

Electronics giant Philips is confident it will achieve a 25-per-cent increase in revenue this year in the consumer electronic-products market.

The prediction comes despite forecasts of continued “flat” 5-10 per cent growth in the market.

Philips said achieving Bt3 billion in revenue last year was beyond expectations.

Its four businesses within the consumers-electronics market are cell-phones, televisions, monitors and DVDs. Its cell-phone business achieved revenue growth of 300 per cent last year, TV revenue was up 30 per cent and monitors 20 per cent, according to Francois Billecard, general manager of Philips Electronics (Thailand)’s consumer-electronics division.

Billecard refused to reveal DVD revenue, although he said its products were recognised as the top brands in the market.

He said the company’s confidence in the consumer electronic-product sector stemmed from it focusing on the mid- and high-end markets instead of the low-end market, which has endured years of price wars.

The company had an advantage of rivals in the mid- and high-end markets because it had unique products, he said.

In the TV market, it had the Pixel Plus 2 with ambilight technology, long-life batteries for the cell-phone market, a playability guarantee for DVDs and monitors that had no panel defects.

This year, the company would focus on flat-screen TVs and multimedia monitors, Billecard said.

It has introduced a full line-up of LCD and plasma TVs – from 20 inches to 50 inches.

Billecard said continued flat growth was forecast for the market this year, with consumers upgrading from low-end to mid- and high-end products, while the price of mid- and high-end products keeps decreasing as businesses try to stay competitive with new technologies.

The company has seven DVD players and mini hi-fi’s as well as two DVD recorders. Billecard said Philips placed more importance on the DVD-player and mini hi-fi market, as they were bigger than the DVD-recorder sector.

The company launched DVD recorders onto the Thai market two years ago just to let consumers know that it manufactured a full range of DVD products, but it did not expect high sales volume from those products, he said.

However, the company is still eager to show through its dealers that its recorder products have plenty of potential, he added.

Last week’s increase in the diesel-fuel price, which has pushed up the cost of raw materials, has not affected Philips too much, according to Billecard.

The company will revise its operating-cost management again if the price of diesel increases to the point that it cannot handle the cost.

Billecard said Philips would spend Bt100 million on its total-store-management programme, which involves dealers being trained to identify the best products to display in their stores and be equipped with the knowledge to show consumers how to use products properly.

He refused to reveal the company’s market share for each category in the consumer electronic-products market.

Published on March 01, 2005

Nitida Asawanipont

The Nation

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