KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
4th September 2015
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"Contemporary and cool, we absolutely love it!"
I’ve enjoyed an interesting trip this week to the IFA exhibition in Berlin, which has traditionally been seen as an electronics fair but which is now attracting increasing numbers of exhibitors from the kitchen appliances sector. That doesn’t surprise me, as with the incredible technology now being incorporated into many new appliances, they are becoming less like the ‘ordinary household appliances’ that cater for our basic needs and more like communications hubs/personal assistants, chefs, hygiene officers, personal shoppers (and I won’t go on, but I’m sure that if you keep up to date with the technology, you’ll know what I mean – and if you don’t, you can read all about it in these pages over the coming weeks)!
I joined a group of international journalists who were treated to an in-depth look at lots of beautifully designed and incredibly ‘intelligent’ new products from the growing portfolio of brands under the Whirlpool Corporation’s umbrella, which are marketed in more than 170 countries.
But of course the question on everyone’s lips was: “What’s happening about Aga Rangemaster?”
We’d all thought that the £129.2 million takeover of iconic British brand Aga Rangemaster, by Middleby Corporation, was all done and dusted (see aga_rangemaster_sold_to_us_kitchen_products_specialist) and about to complete, but Whirlpool has come in with a last minute cash offer which, we were told, is under consideration. And although Whirlpool wasn’t sharing information on the offer it has made, the word in the City is that it would have to have been at least 10% higher than the Middleby offer to have even been considered – and Aga Rangemaster shares have risen sharply as a result.
Whirlpool is meeting with the company’s shareholders on 8thSeptember and a deadline for a final decision to be made, has been set for 14th September. Meanwhile, Aga Rangemaster is continuing to push the Middleby deal through, to ensure that market confidence remains high.
Exciting times, eh? We’ll be bringing you more on this breaking news in next week’s issue of KBzine...
This Week's News
An opulent combination of form and function, Quadra encompasses a rigid structure to provide practical storage space and shelves for towels, as well as impressive levels of heat for the bathroom.
The majority (85%) of plumbers, electricians, builders, carpenters and other tradesmen questioned in the latest Trade Pulse report, say they expect business to remain at the same level or to improve over the next 12 months, with more than a third currently busier than expected and nearly half saying business is now, at this time, better than it was 12 months ago.
In 2014, Amica Group grew its sales revenue up 22% year on year to PLN (Polish Zloty) 2,028,295,000. EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) and profitability have grown in line with the main increases in revenue recorded in the home market of Poland, along with Germany and in the markets of southern Europe.
The UK contributed some of the most dynamic growth up more than 50% over the same period.
The results are in and the Cream Retro has been revealed as the most popular by far, with a staggering 38% of the votes, followed by Baby Blue at 24% and Fiery Red at 6%.
The Marino family has a striking contemporary design suitable for all bathroom styles with its distinctive long lever handle making one-handed operation effortless. The tall, square shaped design of Marino products with radiused edges will give all bathrooms an interior design look and feel.
Specialist contractors are propping up the UK's cash strapped construction industry and financing growth by acting as trade creditors to the large main contractors.
According to StreetwiseSubbie, a professional services organisation founded to support and advise specialist contractors, the financial landscape for UK subbies remains bleak. Not because of lack of work, but because certain main contractors find every way possible to delay payments, and pay less than is owed, simply to free up their own cash flow.
To commence proceedings, Burbidge Premium Partners were given an exclusive glimpse of Burbidge's new product prototypes, along with an overview of the newly-launched 'The Bathroom Furniture Co.' and a tour of the showroom.
Gerwyn Davies, labour market adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, writes in response to yesterday's Office for National Statistics report on zero-hours contracts, which have shown a modest increase:
"The latest ONS statistics suggest that there has been a further modest increase in the number of people on zero-hours contracts and a growing proportion of people on zero-hours contracts for more than a year. However, it is important that the debate about zero-hours contracts is a balanced one, recognising that when managed well, these contracts can benefit both employers and workers.
This position has been created as existing joint managing directors, John & Michael Barwick, both move to the position of joint chairman.
After six highly successful years as Utopia's business development manager for the Midlands region, Chris Jones has been promoted to the position of key accounts manager.
Suitable for internal or external waterproofing, BAL Tank-it is the new, ultimate tanking system formulated with innovative technology from the UK's market-leader in tiling solutions. Highly polymer-modified, the two-part, rapid-setting product provides complete protection and can be tiled after only 90 minutes - and, since no priming is required, it produces significant time and cost savings on key installations for tilers and contractors.
The Ladder Association has launched this year's Ladder Exchange, which will run from 1st September to 31st December. Established by the Health & Safety Executive in 2007 - and now run and managed by the industry trade body - the campaign has already resulted in thousands of 'dodgy' ladders being taken out of service.
The Ladder Exchange allows users to exchange old and/or defective ladders for safe new ones - at a discount - at any of the scheme's participating partners located throughout the UK. It also champions safe ladder use and the need to inspect and maintain ladders at regular intervals in accordance with the regulations.
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