TREVISO, Italy-Fourth-quarter net income for De’Longhi reached €54.7 million ($70.7 million), up 45.5 percent. This brought De’Longhi’s bottom-line total for the year to €118 million ($152.2 million), an increase of 25.7 percent.
Net sales for the global housewares manufacturer reached €541.3 million ($703.7 million), an increase of 4.9 percent, in the quarter, which ended on Dec. 31. This brought net sales for the fiscal year to €1.5 billion ($2 billion), up 7 percent. The top line benefited from continuing strength in the company’s two most important product categories, coffeemakers and food-preparation appliances.
The sales mix in those two categories offset the weakening of the euro against the U.S. dollar during 2012, allowing gross margin for the year (listed by the company as “net industrial margin”) to finish flat with 2011 at 48.1 percent. Operating expenses increased 5.3 percent in euros but fell 53 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 32.9 percent.
In its statement summarizing these results, De’Longhi said 2013 is shaping up as “uncertain” in its main markets. “Management thinks that (the company), despite operating in a difficult environment, should be able to continue on its growth trajectory, thanks to the strength deriving from its know-how, from its competitive positioning, from the good exposure to emerging markets, from the presence in fast-growing business as well as thanks to the new potential added through the Braun Household deal,” the company said.
The latter remark refers to De’Longhi’s purchase last year of the Braun brand for household products from Procter & Gamble. De’Longhi effectively took over the Braun operations on Jan. 1.