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Sights set on Asia

Eheim has weathered the financial crisis better than expected. The company's aquatics business even grew by approx. 5 per cent up to the end of last year.
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Robert Moll, head of sales and marketing for the Aquatics division of Eheim, didn't dare to dream at the beginning of last year that the family firm from southern Germany would achieve total sales of over € 130 mio by the end of the year. The aquatics business accounts for over 40 per cent of the company's overall sales, while the somewhat larger Aviation division (air services/airline operations) accounts for nearly 60 per cent. In January and February, when every day brought more shocking news revealing the scale of the biggest global recession of all time, Robert Moll assumed that even Eheim would inevitably experience a decline in sales of at least 10 per cent. He was way off the mark in his prediction: in the aquatics sector in particular, Eheim saw a satisfactory upward trend in 2009. The company experienced high growth especially in the USA, where it was able to expand the presence of its energy-saving filter "ecco pro" considerably in the leading speciality chain PetSmart, and in Japan, according to Robert Moll. It was able to get over the negative trend in sales in countries such as Russia and Poland, which were particularly affected by the financial crisis. In the Asia-Pacific region above all, Eheim sees great potential for the future. With this in mind, the company opened a production plant in the Chinese industrial city of Guangzhou in 2007. It concentrates here on the manufacture of competitive products for the Asian and American market and has recently also started producing aquariums for this region. The quality standards applied at the German manufacturing plant in Deizisau are fully complied with in Guangzhou too. Robert Moll says that the new Guangzhou plant has made a significant contribution to enhancing Eheim's competitiveness in China compared with the local manufacturers, who operate an aggressive pricing strategy. The company's aim is to consolidate its presence in the market there. Robert Moll also considers India and Australia to be interesting growth markets for Eheim. New sales manager for Europe In Europe too, which still accounts for 57 per cent of Eheim's sales in the aquatics sector, the company has plans for the future. Gebhard M. Mang recently became Eheim's new sales manager for Europe, having previously held senior international marketing posts with several well-known branded goods manufacturers. His first employer is also active in the pet supplies sector: the company in question is Tetra, where Gebhard M. Mang worked…
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