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KYE eyes different export markets

With the baht depreciating and the Thai economy slowing down, Kang Yong Electric (KYE), the local manufacturer and distributor of Mitsubishi Electric brand of home appliances, hopes to increase its exports this year, vice chairman and president Sadahiro Tomita said.

He added that the company aims to increase the ratio of its exports to other countries in order to reduce its heavy reliance on Japan and protect itself from the currency fluctuations.

KYE sells 36 per cent of its products locally, exports 44 per cent to Japan and 19 per cent |to other countries. Of the 19 per cent sold to |other countries, 90 per cent is sold to Asean nations, while the remainder to European |countries.

Tomita said the company wanted to boost its exports to other countries from 19 to 24 per cent in the next few years, but would maintain its export volume to Japan.

KYE was established in 1964 under a joint venture between the Phodhivorakhun family group and Japan's Mitsubishi Electric Corporation to manufacture to distribute Mitsubishi Electric brand of home electrical appliances. Mitsubishi Electric Corporation group owns 41.15 per cent of KYE, while the Phodhivorakhun family group holds 24.63 per cent.

Tomita said KYE's key export focus this year would be on its existing market of Vietnam and Indonesia, where it set up local distribution partnerships two years ago and last year respectively. The company is also eyeing the Philippines as a potential market.

He said KYE hopes to boost its revenue to 200 per cent over the next few years, adding that its revenue had gone beyond the 150-per-cent mark over the last four years. To achieve the goal of 200-per-cent revenue, KYE plans to double its current production capacity by investing up to Bt300 million annually over the next three years on new machinery.

The company currently produces a million units of refrigerators, 2 million electric fans and 500,000 units of ventilators and water pumps each per year.

While baht depreciation has increased the cost of imported components by 10 per cent, this cost is offset by its export growth.

Tomita said the current political turmoil has had no impact on business, adding that operations were continuing uninterrupted. However, he said he hoped Thailand would become stable soon.


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