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Comvita Supplies Hong Kong Pharmacy Chain

News Release

For immediate release

May 8, 2005

Comvita Supplies Hong Kong's Largest Pharmacy Chain

Comvita products will be stocked in 174 pharmacies across Hong Kong following the conclusion of a deal with Hong Kong's leading pharmacy chain Watson's.

The deal is significant as Watson's is one of the most recognized high-end retail brands in Hong Kong and is a company with affiliations throughout Asia.

Comvita Consumer Division Manager, Scott Coulter, says the agreement will give the Comvita brand great positioning with an upmarket retailer.

He says it has taken many months to finalise arrangements through the efforts of Comvita's Hong Kong-based manager Sam Tsoi and the company's distributor in that market, Greenlife.

As part of their introduction to Watson's, Comvita products will feature in Watson's May Holiday and Mother's Day sales campaigns.

"This is an exciting opportunity for Comvita because it widens distribution in an already fast expanding market," he says.

Comvita sales to Hong Kong grew last year by around 70 percent in New Zealand dollar terms and Coulter says this new customer will lift sales to another level again.

"Hong Kong has been doing very well for us. We've been in the market for many years and now are using it as a base to lay foundations for sales in China, which are now moving quickly."

He says deals like these in Asia tend to result from well thought out foundation work that requires patience and care in building relationships.

"We have an excellent relationship with our distributor Greenlife. They have just opened a New Zealand product store that features a number of Comvita goods in the Central underground station on Hong Kong Island.

The Watsons chain operates in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Macau, Korea, the Philippines and Turkey and is expanding at a rate of 130 new outlets a year, i.e. opening a new store every 2.8 days.

Its parent company A.S. Watson & Co is one of the oldest and best-known trading names in Asia. With a history dating back to 1828, the A.S. Watson Group has evolved into an international retail and manufacturing business with operations in 16 markets across Asia and Europe. Today, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, A.S. Watson operates over 3,300 retail stores - health & beauty chains, food, electronics & general merchandise, and airport retail.


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