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International expansion is one of Groupe SEB’s developmental pillars. Historically established in mature markets, since the 90s the Group has spread into emerging economies whose rapid expansion fuelled overall growth. It has now attained a close balance between its sales in mature and emerging markets, which constitutes an undeniable asset for future expansion and a degree of protection in the face of economic uncertainty.



What is an emerging market?

There are some criteria that narrow down the idea of emerging countries, however, some economies have grown rapidly over recent years bringing about an evolution in consumption patterns, which brings us from a narrow definition to a broader concept of emerged countries.


Emerging countries are also characterized by intense consumption. Thus, in 2010, rising consumption in emerging economies outpaced that of developed countries by 40% (source: SG Gross Asset Research).


Breakdown of 2011 sales


Small domestic equipment dynamics

Emerging countries represent the driving force behind global growth and are pushing the small domestic equipment industry along. This dynamic has several originating factors:

  • low ownership rates on most markets;
  • rapidly expanding middle classes along with growing purchasing power;
  • a strong trend of urbanization and changing lifestyle habits;
  • upgrading due to appeal of new technologies.

Conquering these new markets also brought the Group numerous opportunities to extend its product offerings, particularly in equipment specifically suited to local needs: exotic fruit accessories, rice cookers, soya extractors, anti-mosquito ventilators…

A conquering strategy

Faced with the enormous potential for development, the Group is adopting, as it has in the past, a determined approach to conquer these new markets. To that end, it is marrying up two implementation strategies.

Through organic growth. It spreads its presence out through its own structures: representation offices or commercial subsidiaries depending on the business volume. Its offering is thereby constructed in stages resulting in multiple families: from cookware (pots, pans…) and irons that satisfy basic needs, to electric preparation or cooking products, to vacuum cleaners and lastly personal care products, in particular hair care products. It is the approach it implements in markets such as Turkey or Russia for example, where it is long established.

Through external growth. In this case, the Group acquires a leading company in its sector: Arno and Panex in Brazil, Volmo and Imusa in Columbia, Supor in China, Asia Fan in Vietnam with the key to rapid market access. This strategy provides a solid local foundation: offer products adapted to the market’s specificities, well known brand name, good commercial coverage and on-site production. The strategy is also enhanced by sharing know how and synergies. The Group thereby lays the foundation for long-lasting development eventually on larger territories such as South America and Southeast Asia.