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Stiebel Eltron undaunted, eyes 20percent sales growth

STIEBEL Eltron - a manufacturer of water heaters, water filters and hand-dryers - continues to target Thai sales growth of 20 per cent this year, despite the country's economic slowdown. The company, which was formed in 1924 in Germany, has its Asian headquarters and production site in Ayutthaya and is the market leader for water heaters in Thailand.

Last year, Stiebel Eltron Asia reported Thai revenues of more than Bt800 million, some 20 per cent higher than in the previous 12 months.

Roland Hoehn, managing director of Stiebel Eltron Asia, said the company expected its improved distribution network, increased support for key accounts and enhanced product range would add similar growth to its figures this year.

"We believe our sales will achieve the targeted growth level this year, [especially as] the company recorded sales in the first quarter that were 40 per cent above the same period last year," he said.

He added that demand for water heaters, water filters and hand-dryers was still expanding both in Bangkok and the provinces, even though the economy had slowed from last year's growth rate.

The company plans to launch a number new water-heater models this year: the Stiebel Steel, Stiebel Eltron DX Series, Stiebel Eltron DJ 40E and Stiebel Eltron DHD.

These products will make Stiebel Eltron the first water-heater brand in Thailand to provide an extensive range of products for every budget, with products ranging from Bt2,500 to Bt22,000, said the MD.

"It is important for us to continue to develop products that cater to the Thai market, and that are also design-led," he said.

Stiebel Eltron Asia plans to continue to focus on sales channels in Bangkok, but will also look to create more sales platforms in upcountry areas and launch two major marketing campaigns later this year, he added.


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