Wholesaler says sharp rise is ‘significantly ahead of the market’
Climate Center has reported a sharp rise in sales of air conditioning equipment. With overall UK air conditioning sales flat or slightly up, the wholesaler has achieved growth of some 30 per cent compared with last year.
The firm said it reflects a strong performance by the company’s three big brands, Daikin, Toshiba and Fujitsu.
Ian Carroll, who heads up air conditioning sales at Climate Center, headline sponsor of RAC’s Cooling Industry Awards, said: “It is a very strong performance and, pleasingly, significantly ahead of the market.”
“It reflects the strength and popularity of our new air conditioning offering, which is unique in the trade. The addition of Toshiba last year contributed significant growth and unlocked pent-up demand for the company’s products in the market.”
Sales of Daikin equipment have also continued to rise, with both premium brands outstripping the market trend by a significant margin.
“We are growing our market penetration as a result of the breadth and quality of our offering, and the excellent technical support we provide,” he said.
“Our suppliers have supported us to the hilt in terms of training and brand back-up. For example, Toshiba has a dedicated Climate Center support manager on the ground, and both Daikin and Fujitsu are active supporting our sales teams and branches across the country - which makes a huge difference to the knowledge base available to the network.”
The lion’s share of Climate Center’s growth has come from the splits and multi-splits sector. However, VRV/VRF sales are also up, assisted by growth from M&E contracts via Pipe Center account managers. This is in line with the company’s long-term aim of growing in the larger project end of the market.
Strong growth is also reported in the air-to-air heat pump market, with Daikin Altherma and Toshiba Estia units the star products in this sector.
Growth in sales of Daikin splits has been fuelled by the success of the recently introduced Siesta range, value-engineered to deliver Daikin brand quality at a highly competitive price point.
Sales of Fujitsu equipment were helped by recent launches, such as its new J2 mini VRF series and 8-way multi split system. The company, which has a re-energised focus on distribution, will also be launching a new 3-pipe heat recovery VRF system later this year.
Another factor in the success story is Climate Center’s comprehensive stockholding of air conditioning equipment, centred on the company’s main feeder warehouse in Birmingham.
It enables overnight delivery to most parts of the UK and via the company’s 48 branches, usually at no additional cost.
The outlook for the rest of the year is very positive, said Mr Carroll. “We have some significant product launches coming, particularly from Toshiba with the launch later this year of its new SHRMI 3-pipe system, which will be the most efficient VRF on the market, and Fujitsu’s new 3-pipe heat recovery VRF system.”