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By Janina C. Lim
THE LOCAL unit of Osaka-based Daikin Industries Ltd. is eyeing 2019 sales to grow over 60% from last year, hiking its target after achieving record-high sales in 2018 driven by strong demand for air-conditioners.
“In 2018, we posted another high record in sales despite challenging market conditions, with the (US-China) trade war, and the higher fuel price in the market,” Daikin Philippines President Lee Wai Kok said in a press conference in Pasay City last week.
Mr. Lee told BusinessWorld the company’s sales reached P4.5 billion in 2018, 50% higher year on year — the high end of its target range. In terms of volume, the figure translates to 80,000 units sold.
Residential air-conditioners accounted for 40% (around 32,000 units) of the company’s sales, while commercial and variable refrigerant volume (VRV) aircons — multi-split type for commercial aircons — accounted for 30% (24,000 units), respectively.
Daikin Philippines attributed the strong sales last year to the rising middle class; the government’s massive infrastructure program; and continued growth of the business process outsourcing industry.
Confident these positive developments will continue, Daikin Philippines targets sales to grow 62.5% to P6.5 billion this year.
However, Mr. Lee flagged concerns of an economic slowdown stemming from the US-China trade spat.
“The only thing we are worrying now is of course the trade war between China and US. It will temper the market, not only in the Philippines. The global market will slowdown. So when the global market is slowing down, the investment coming into the Philippines is affected… so consumer buying power is also affected,” Mr. Lee said.
Should China and the United States fail to reach a trade compromise before March 1, Mr. Lee said the backup strategy will be to look into other expanding sectors where a potential market can be tapped.
“Maybe we should shift the focus to some sectors that are growing, like seaports, airports and hospitals,” Mr. Lee added.
For this year, Daikin Philippines will roll out new products in the country, including the large floor mounted series; an upgrade for residential air-conditioning series FTKC and FTKM; and a Multi-S series for residential application.
Daikin Philippines will also be expanding its local offices, particularly in North Luzon, Eastern Visayas and Northern Mindanao.
Operating since 2010, Daikin Philippines is engaged in the sales and distribution of Daikin air-conditioning units and spare parts, servicing of air-conditioning units, and related warranty services.
Although its current performance puts it fourth in the overall air-conditioner distribution market, Daikin Philippines aims to be number one in the country in the next two years, according to Mr. Lee.