Blue Star targets to sell 2.8 lakh room ACs in 2013

Chennai, Jan 21 (IANS) Hoping the market for room air conditioners grows this year, the Rs.2,700 crore Blue Star Ltd. is targeting a total sales of around 280,000 units, said a senior company official.

The company also intends to expand its distribution network and has allocated a Rs.25 crore advertisement budget.

Speaking to reporters here Monday at the launch of a new range of air conditioners, B.Thiagarajan, president (air-conditioning and refrigeration products and systems), said the room air conditioner's market is expected to log around 15 percent growth as against a fall of five percent last year.

"Last year the residential air conditioner market grew whereas other segments - commercial and light commercial - fell down," he said.

According to C.P.Mukumdan Menon, vice president (air-conditioning and refrigeration products and systems), Blue Star is targeting to sell around 280,000 units this calendar year, up from around 230,000 units sold in 2012.

Queried whether stand-alone refrigeration companies are seeing more traction than multi-product consumer durable companies, Menon replied in negative and added that LG witnessed flat sales growth last year and Samsung witnessed around 10 percent fall in sales.

According to Menon, the company will be increasing its distribution network to around 3,000 this year adding 500 outlets.

Agreeing that Blue Star range of air conditioners is costlier by around 15 percent as compared to competitor Voltas, he said pegging the price at the latter's level will not give the volumes if the distribution reach is not expanded to around 6,000 outlets.

With sales of split air conditioners growing, Thiagarajan predicts the window of opportunity for window air conditioners to close in three years time.

Till such time, it will exist only as an entry level product range, he said.

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