Dorel Establishes Juvenile Platform in Brazil
Montreal, Quebec - 1/6/2009
Dorel Industries Inc. (TSX: DII.B DII.A) today announced it is establishing Companhia Dorel Brasil Produtos Infantis (Dorel Brazil), a new operating division of the Company’s Juvenile segment. “Brazil holds tremendous promise and we are well positioned to benefit from the excellent market opportunities that exist there. This is yet another strategic move to further secure Dorel’s dominance as a global leader in the juvenile products industry,” stated Dorel Juvenile Group President Camillo Lisio.
Dorel has identified a local partner with solid experience in the juvenile sector to act as President of the new venture. Rafael Anjos Camarano is well respected in industry circles and has established relations in all of Brazil’s retail channels. His knowledge will serve the new company well in identifying local consumer trends and preferences. In the past, Mr. Camarano’s firm has represented Safety 1st in the Brazilian market. Dorel will be the majority shareholder of the new venture.
Mr. Lisio said that after carefully analyzing the potential market in Brazil, despite current economic conditions and currency issues, it was determined that there are still a number of compelling reasons to support Dorel’s foray into the country.
“Importantly, car seats became mandatory in Brazil in June 2008 and demand has escalated. As the world’s largest car seat manufacturer, we will maximize our internal assets and will be able to quickly ramp up the manufacture of car seats locally. Dorel already has the necessary car seat moulds and thus we will save both time and significant costs. As such, our total investment is under $4 million. There is room for more contemporary designs in the market and Dorel has a proven track record of providing a wide range of exciting products.”
He also pointed out that competition in Brazil is fragmented, and the country has a young population with a very high birth rate of 18.72 per 1000 population compared to the U.S. rate of 14.18 births per 1000 population. With over 196 million residents, Brazil is ranked 7th in world population.
1 “Dorel has the global scope and the experience to maximize the prospects in Brazil. We look forward to building this platform into a very meaningful component of our Juvenile segment,” said Dorel President and CEO Martin Schwartz.
Dorel Brazil will be operational almost immediately with multiple brands and products to meet all price points in all retail channels. First year revenue is anticipated to be at least US$10 million and it is expected that the business will grow significantly over the next couple of years.
Dorel Industries Inc. (TSX: DII.B, DII.A) is a world class juvenile products and bicycle company. Established in 1962, Dorel creates style and excitement in equal measure to safety, quality and value. The Company’s lifestyle leadership position is pronounced in both its Juvenile and Bicycle categories with an array of trend-setting products. Dorel’s powerfully branded products include Safety 1st, Quinny, Cosco, Maxi-Cosi and Bébé Confort in Juvenile, as well as Cannondale, Schwinn, GT, Mongoose and SUGOI in Recreational/Leisure. Dorel’s Home Furnishings segment markets a wide assortment of furniture products, both domestically produced and imported. Dorel is a $2 billion company with 4600 employees, facilities in seventeen countries, and sales worldwide.
Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Except for historical information provided herein, this press release may contain information and statements of a forward-looking nature concerning the future performance of Dorel Industries Inc. These statements are based on suppositions and uncertainties as well as on management's best possible evaluation of future events. The business of the Company and these forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from expected results. Important factors which could cause such differences may include, without excluding other considerations, increases in raw material costs, particularly for key input factors such as particle board and resins; increases in ocean freight container costs; failure of new products to meet demand expectations; changes to the Company’s effective income tax rate as a result of changes in the anticipated geographic mix of revenues; the impact of price pressures exerted by competitors, and settlements for product liability cases which exceed the Company’s insurance coverage limits. A description of the above mentioned items and certain additional risk factors are discussed in the Company’s Annual MD&A and Annual Information Form, filed with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada and the U.S. The risk factors outlined in the previously mentioned documents are specifically incorporated herein by reference. The Company’s business, financial condition, or operating results could be materially adversely affected if any of these risks and uncertainties were to materialize. Given these risks and uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results.