Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/16/2014 -- The acquisition of new houses continued to decline in 2013, by 7%, mainly because potential buyers continued to wait for further price declines in the housing market. Besides, with the French economy still engulfed in a high level of unemployment and low consumer confidence index, French consumers exerted much more prudence on a day-to-day basis, as well as in terms of long term housing acquisition plans. Consequently, sales of air conditioners continued to decline in 2013, by 4%; sales of split air conditioners, which are generally more costly to install than room air conditioners, declined at a faster pace over the same period. The overall volume growth was sustained by 2% volume growth for cooling fans, driven mostly by product replacements and the acquisition of more modern tower-type models.
Air treatment products remained highly fragmented in 2013, with different players enjoying leading positions in the diverse categories. De'Longhi France led humidifiers and dehumidifiers with more than a 20% volume share in each in 2013, whilst White & Brown led air purifiers with a 17% volume share. Daikin Airconditioning France led air conditioners, capturing a 36% share of volume sales, whilst Groupe SEB led cooling with a 15% volume share. Overall, Groupe SEB was the overall leader in air treatment products in 2013 with a 15% share of volume sales, but private label and other fragmented brands accounted for 11% and 22% shares of volume sales respectively. Bionaire, Calor and Rowenta were the top three most popular brands in the category in 2013.
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Three main factors will affect the optimistic outlook for air treatment appliances; the increase in housing construction and acquisition rates over the next five years, as the new Duflot and Alur laws, along with other legal provisions, come into force in order to boost the housing market in France; an acceleration of air pollution peaks, especially in cities, which will motivate French households to buy air purifiers; and the general trend of global warming, which is likely to favour sales of cooling appliances.
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