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Methven Pushing for Sales Growth in 05-06

Methven Pushing for Sales Growth and Brand Expansion in 2005-06

Methven Ltd, buoyed by a solid marketing and financial performance in 2004-05 which comfortably exceeded prospectus revenue and profit forecasts, is pushing for new growth through brand expansion and leveraging its proprietary bathroomware designs and technology.

“Methven has more than a century of experience to draw on as an innovator and household name as New Zealand’s trusted market leader in tap and showerware supply,” said Managing Director, Rick Fala in the Methven Annual Report released today 23 June 2005. “Methven is a design-driven company of fresh thinkers with the courage to be different. We aim to build Methven and our unique SatinJet® shower technology into international brands that stand out from the crowd because of their compelling proposition, experience and delivery. We are ready to push for new horizons.”

Mr Fala said the company would preview the new branding and an extended product range for SatinJet® which is focused on the target mid to high end of the market and women in particular, at the Annual General Meeting on July 20 in Auckland. A market roll-out is planned for July onwards in Australia and New Zealand.

“Australia remains our most immediate and highest priority growth opportunity. We are investing more in ensuring that we have the right shower and tapware ranges available and the distribution, marketing and service support needed to grow our market presence.”

Mr Fala said Methven was making good progress in establishing its retail presence in Australia and growing sales in the target domestic renovation market rather than the new building sector. Despite renovation activity reportedly declining in the last two quarters of the financial year, Methven still expects the average number of bathrooms installed per dwelling and spend per bathroom in Australia to continue to increase.

“While the low end of the bathroomware market is price sensitive, we see opportunity to grow sales and market share in Australia from the $17.8 million achieved last financial year. As well as introducing new complementary SatinJet® and tapware products, leveraging our winning the Best New Bathroomware Product at the 2005 Australian DESIGNEX Awards, we will add four new sales representatives to our Australian in-market team.

“We also have plans to further expand our brand presence with more in store displays and to lift our profile and presence through exciting brand promotions and activities to enable consumers to experience our products first hand,” Mr Fala said.

Looking at New Zealand sales which exceeded forecast last year reaching $36.1 million on the back of very strong second half sales, Mr Fala said he expected the renovation and replacement market where Methven concentrates to remain relatively stable. More significant softening is expected to occur in the new build segment where the company has less exposure.

“We will continually freshen the showerware and water delivery category in New Zealand and Australia as well as target exports to European and other targeted export markets to achieve our vision of becoming a truly international brand, of New Zealand origin, that delivers a sensational shower experience to all our consumers.

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