Hitachi Home to hike prices before fiscal-end

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Hyderabad, Jan 19 (PTI) Consumer durables firms HitachiHome and Life Solutions (India) Ltd (HHLI) today said it mayincrease prices before the fiscal-end, owing to rising inputcosts.

HHLI is the consumer durables unit of Japan-basedHitachi Ltd.

"Raising prices will put pressure on margins. We will,accordingly, take measures to neutralise them. We will takedecisions based on market conditions also. We hope there willbe price hike before the end of this fiscal. It could be inthe range of 3 to 4 per cent," Anil Shah, Director (Finance),HHLI, saidduring the launch of Hitachi 5 star-ratedair-conditioner in Andhra Pradesh market.

To question on the forthcoming Union Budget, he saidthey do not expect any favours from the Finance Minister. He,however, said the proposed GST (goods and services tax) regimemay bring some cheers to the consumer durables sector.

It may be noted that Indian steel makers have hikedprices in the range of 3 to 5 per cent in the recent times.

Gurmit Singh, Vice-President and Head (sales andbusiness planning), HHLI, said they expect to achieve 10 percent growth in sales in 2011. According to him, the totalmarket for air conditioners in India 2010 was around 3.2million and is expected to reach 3.8 million this year.

To a query on the plant capacity increase, Singh saidthe present capacity of 4,00,000 units per annum need not beincreased till the middle of 2012 as it was sufficient tocater to the targeted growth.

"In June our presence was limited to 236 towns. Withan aggressive plan it will reach to 317 towns by the end ofnext month," he added.

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