Harman targets growing Bahrain electronics market

    Forecasts ME revenue of $300m for fiscal year 2011/12.
    Amit Malani, president, Harman Middle East.
    Amit Malani, president, Harman Middle East.

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    Harman Middle East has revealed its strategic move towards consolidating its market presence in Bahrain, which has recorded rapid growth in its audio and video (AV) segment. The move release the latest world class high quality audio visual equipment follows the company’s achievement of US$229 million in revenues for fiscal year 2010-2011, reflecting a 45 per cent increase in revenues from the previous fiscal year. Bahrain’s consumer electronics segment has been dubbed as the most addressable market for computing devices, mobile handsets and AV devices, has been forecasted to reach US$452 million in 2011 and will increase to US$565 million by 2015.

    Harman ME strategic initiative reflects the current vibrancy of Bahrain’s consumer electronics market, which is driven by an increased demand for feature-rich digital lifestyle products like flat screen TV sets, home theatre sound systems, iPod / iPad docking stations and other key products. Audio Visual devices make up more than 37 per cent of the country’s consumer electronics spending last year, with predictions that the segment will grow to US$165 million in 2011. Also, consumer electronics is expected to key in a CAGR of three per cent over the next four years and will be driven largely by demand for LCD and plasma TV sets, to a value of USD184 million in 2015. The company’s long and innovative legacy of providing excellence in AV technology has allowed Harman to achieve a 150 per cent growth surge over the last two years, and has currently set its sights on reaching US$300 million in Middle East revenues for the fiscal year 2011-2012.

    “Amidst the impact left behind by the recent economic downturn, Bahrain has managed to transform itself as one of the most strategic markets for AV devices. The growth is due to a new consumer shift towards purchasing products that add more value to their money,” said Amit Malani, president, Harman Middle East. “Strong factors that are driving this growth are product innovations, lowered prices and greater vendor and channel sales flexibility. Bahraini consumers are looking for products that offer high-end features and performance at more affordable prices. We are looking to meet this demand by leveraging our wide portfolio of world class high quality AV systems that use innovative technology, which will surely stir up huge demand in the market.”

    The Bahrain market continues to play a key role as a major component to Harman ME’s growth. The company has named its retail, distribution and projects divisions as the three key business lines that will help meet the revenue target; Harman brands are known to power over 70 per cent of the world's recording studios; more than 75 per cent of cinemas worldwide built over the last 20 years and are included in premium cars from makers like BMW, Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Mercedes Benz, Lexus and Mini Cooper.

    “We are currently aiming towards driving more value to our business by optimizing our business portfolio and regional footprint; transforming cost structures and accelerating growth into our markets. The vibrancy of today’s consumer electronics market has given us the confidence to capture a larger market share by increasing our investments in sales, marketing and business development. We believe these efforts, combined with prudent capital deployment, will continue our sales and profit growth,” concluded Malani.

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