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Global leader makes flying visit to New Zealand

Global leader makes flying visit to New Zealand

As the world reels from a global economic crisis resulting from questionable businesses decisions and structures, at least one international company is going from strength to strength - based on strong ethics and a "family first" focus.

Amway, one of the world's largest direct-selling companies, is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and its president, Doug DeVos is visiting New Zealand as part of the company's celebration of the milestone.

Amway has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Established in 1959 in Michigan by life-long friends and business partners Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel, the company's first year sales equivalent to NZ$831,400 were based on a single household cleaner. Still privately owned today, Amway is run by the founders' sons. Doug DeVos, youngest son of Rich DeVos, has been Amway president since 2002, while Steve Van Andel, the oldest son of Jay Van Andel, succeeded his father as chairman in 1995.

Today, Amway is present in some 80 counties and territories and sells more than 450 products primarily focused on health, wellness and beauty as well as home care. Its flagship brands Nutrilite (vitamin and food supplements) and Artistry (skin care products and cosmetics) account for more than 60 percent of worldwide sales. In 2007 its global sales topped $7.1 billion and the company predicts another $1 billion increase this year. Its fastest growing markets have been Ukraine, India, Russia and China and a number of other markets have recorded double digit increases.

While the company's global growth has been impressive, New Zealand/Australia sales have been stable but flat, with New Zealand turnover standing at $20 million a year.

"Australia and New Zealand are very important markets for us," says Amway president, Doug DeVos. "We are taking a hard look at what we can do now to get all markets up and moving again. We are determined to reach a wider audience, specifically generation X and Y, and share with them the sense of achievement from growing their own business and reaping the rewards while teaching them business and selling skills. We are challenging ourselves to be more innovative, creative and responsive to the needs of the consumers, including the Gen Y and Xers and to gain ground in today's competitive environment."

While strategic business growth and long term business health is of paramount importance to Amway owners, growth at all costs is not what Doug DeVos and chairman Steve Van Andel have in mind. Both are committed to ethical and responsible management of the multi-billion-dollar company's daily operations, and believe ethical business practices are more crucial than ever in surviving, and even growing, during turbulent times.

In New Zealand one of Amway's major new initiatives is developing programmes that merge innovation with business ethics in a soon-to-be-launched training programme that targets Gen X and Y salespeople and ensures that ethical business practices are rewarded

DeVos will be visiting New Zealand on January 20. Media are invited to a light lunch and media conference from 12.30pm-1.15pm, Tuesday January 20, at the Langham Hotel in central Auckland. To confirm attendance, please phone Goode PR on 480 9948 by 5pm on January 16.

About Amway:
Amway Corporation was founded in 1959 in Ada, Michigan, USA. Amway is one of the largest direct-selling companies in the world, specialising in the manufacture and sale of high-quality products for beauty and health, and for household use. More than 3 million Independent Business Owners (Entrepreneurs) and marketing representatives the world over are delivering Amway products to consumers. The company is operating in more than 80 countries and regions. In fiscal year 2007 Amway sales volume was US$7.1 billion.

Amway Australia/NZ
Amway Australia opened in 1971 as Amway's first oversees market. There are now 100,000 Amway independent business owners in New Zealand and Australia.

ENDS

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