1 year ago

Day 5 - IFA International

  • Text
  • Appliances
  • Products
  • Whirlpool
  • Global
  • Consumer
  • Berlin
  • Appliance
  • Consumers
  • Ovens
  • Electronics

Exclusive Interview

Exclusive Interview Whirlpool's Spiraling Success The President of Whirlpool EMEA and Executive Vice President, Whirlpool Corporation – Esther Berrozpe Galindo – talks to IFA International about the company’s recent merger – and her roadmap for the future… The Whirlpool group is exhibiting at IFA for the first time this year. We asked Esther Berrozpe Galindo what prompted her to “join the party”… Esther Berrozpe Galindo President of Whirlpool EMEA and Executive Vice President, Whirlpool Corporation This is an important day for us because we attend this leading international fair with all the Whirlpool and Indesit brands: KitchenAid, Whirlpool, Bauknecht, Hotpoint and Indesit. This is a great opportunity to show our knowledge and our ability to innovate through Research & Development. With the integration of Whirlpool and Indesit we are looking forward to building an even stronger and more efficient company focused on longterm growth and value creation. The Whirlpool and Indesit integration brings together two industry leaders with complementary strengths in product innovation and technology. Our partners will realise a clear benefit from complementary market positions and distribution channels throughout Europe as well as a very strong brand and product portfolio, while consumers will enjoy more innovation and product choices in the marketplace. After two years “at the helm” how are things coming along, and in simpler terms, how’s business? I have to say that things have changed quite significantly in the last 12 months: only two years ago we were in a situation of little or no growth, with very modest margins and profits, also due to the general economic situation. We have just gone through the historic acquisition of Indesit, making us the number one appliance manufacturer in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and in the World. We are indeed leading in 5 out of the 7 most relevant markets in EMEA and we are also the market leader in two major categories (laundry and refrigeration). Whirlpool EMEA reported secondquarter net sales of .3 billion, compared to ###COLUMNCONTENT###.7 billion in the same period prior-year, an increase of 79 percent. In the first two quarters of 2015 in EMEA we have seen a dramatic improvement over the same period of last year, with margins moving up from 0.2 percent of sales in Q2 2014, to 4.2 percent in Q2 2015, and profits progressing in both quarters, respectively with million and million, against million and million of the same period in 2014. What makes Whirlpool different as a major appliance manufacturer? What makes us different is certainly our deep understanding of consumer needs and our capability to innovate. Whirlpool Corporation is the global home appliance industry leader with possibly the strongest portfolio of brands worldwide. We offer compelling home “Connectivity” really constitutes the new frontier of our industry solutions both within and beyond our core appliance business, delivering innovation that matters to consumers and positioning our company for continued growth and profitability. Recently our Company was ranked as one of CR (Corporate Responsibility) magazine's Top 100 Best Corporate Citizens for 2015 with high scores in the categories of Human Rights, Employee Relations, Corporate Governance and Philanthropy and the Reputation Institute ranked Whirlpool Corporation among the 2015 Global RepTrak ® 100, which ranks the reputation of the 100 most highly regarded companies across 15 countries. How does your company’s product 16

Exclusive Interview Whirlpool presented its range of brands, with their latest products and concepts to journalists at their IFA press event. roadmap fit in with industry trends and consumer needs and how do you assess these? Attention to consumer needs is the cornerstone of our success in our more than 100 years history. Everything we do at Whirlpool, across all our brands, is consumerdriven. This means we invest in Research & Development, to innovate so that we can satisfy these needs and at the same time create value for our shareholders and for our consumers. Our brands are strongly positioned to serve the needs of different consumer segments in the many markets in the EMEA region, each with a different philosophy and personality, but all with the same commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. What are the key groundswell trends as you see them? Resource efficiency, especially energy and water continue to trend very strongly, as consumers become increasingly demanding in terms of energy class and environmental impact. Another strong trend we are observing is the increasing demand for intuitive, connected appliances. “Connectivity” really constitutes the new frontier of our industry, the internetof-things, where appliances will be interconnected and plugged into smart grids to allow for a more intelligent, more efficient use of our planet’s resources without compromising on performance. Which geographic zones (firstly in Europe – secondly on Global scale) are the most important in terms of new growth? Whirlpool EMEA, thanks to the Indesit acquisition, has changed its competitive position and obtained new assets to play an industry leading role. We are leading in 5 out of 7 most relevant markets in EMEA and we are also the market leader in two major categories (Fabric Care and Food Stream Solutions). Most European countries are growing, all except Russia and Ukraine. This means that we have a tremendous opportunity to grow in Europe. Middle East and Africa is one of the most important opportunities in front of us. MEA is a region with high potential: 64 countries, 1,4 billion inhabitants of which 50% in urban areas, 52 cities >1 million inhabitants. With the acquisition of Indesit we boosted our presence in this region. We are currently reviewing our post-merger MEA strategy to unlock further growth opportunities, adjusting our go-to-market strategy to the specifics of high-interest markets, also leveraging Indesit presence. At global level Whirlpool Corporation continues to deliver strong financial results. In the second quarter of 2015 net sales grew by 11% compared to the same period of last year, reaching .2 billion. This trend is confirmed in Whirlpool North America, which is seeing growth both in terms of net sales and of operating profit, which reached .7 billion and 7 million respectively in Q2. Regarding Whirlpool Asia, instead, the key acquisition of Hefei has allowed us to step up our game, delivering an over 80% growth in net sales, which go from approximately 0 million in the second quarter of 2014 to over 0 million in the same period of this year. Also the operating profit is particularly strong, totaling at million in Q2 2015 up from million last year. How important is sustainability as part of your overall philosophy and how does this differ from others in the category? Sustainability has always been a major concern at Whirlpool Corporation, long before it became “fashionable”. As early as 1970, Whirlpool created an internal environmental bureau to evaluate and minimize the impact on the environment. More recently, in 2003, Whirlpool Corporation was the first in the industry to recognize and adopt the Kyoto Protocol, voluntarily setting itself CO2 reduction targets, and beating them. We have never indulged in “greenwash” and instead have consistently introduced innovative products and processes in that sense over the years. We are currently reviewing our post-merger MEA strategy to unlock further growth opportunities IFA International • Tuesday 8 th September 2015 17

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