The acquisition of the Egyptian Olympic Group in 2011 has given Electrolux a leading position in the appliance markets of North Africa and the Middle East.
Africa and the Middle East comprise more than 70 countries with considerable variations in terms of wealth and degree of urbanization. The demand for appliances in Africa is growing because the population is dominated by people of home-owning age. The degree of penetration is low in most product categories, but with high growth due to the rapid rise in household purchasing power.
In Eastern Europe, where Russia is the largest market, both average prosperity and penetration are higher. A large market for replacement products is emerging in several product categories.
With a wide geographical distribution and varying degrees of purchasing power and patterns, it is difficult for manufacturers and retailers to capture large market share in Africa and the Middle East. Turkey has several large domestic manufacturers, such as Arcelik and Vestel, that also have strong positions in nearby regions. The markets of Eastern Europe are dominated by Western manufacturers, such as Electrolux and Bosch-Siemens, while the retailer network is domestic.
Through Olympic Group, Electrolux has proprietary manufacturing in the region for such items as refrigerators, cookers, water heaters and washing machines.
The Group also manufactures appliances in Ukraine, Rumania, Hungary and Poland and vacuum cleaners in Hungary.
Sales of professional food-service and laundry products occur in the region are growing significantly. Sales to commercial laundries are rising in Eastern Europe.