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Fisher & Paykel plans to create new jobs

Published: 7:29AM Thursday February 28, 2013 Source: ONE News

Fisher & Paykel Appliances has announced plans to create new jobs, with new owner Haier now in "expansion mode".

The Auckland-based whiteware manufacturer said today that it will be recruiting for 100 research and development positions in Auckland and Dunedin over the next two years.

F&P Chief Executive Stuart Broadhurst added that job creation in other areas of the company is also on the cards.

"This expansion of specialist skills will entrench our company's expertise, enabling us to continue to deliver the world-leading innovation we are known for, with continued emphasis on quality," he said.

Haier, the Chinese home good maker, effectively rescued F&P Appliances in 2009 when it acquired a 20% stake as part of a capital raising that let the company refinance its debt.

In November last year, Haier won the right to acquire the company when more than 90% of the company's shareholders accepted an offer of $1.28-a-share.

F&P said today that the new owners are moving the company's business development plan along faster than previously planned.

"Fisher & Paykel is focused on New Zealand-led expansion.  While we remain a standalone company with a strong, localised management team, our new owners are providing the opportunity for us to deliver our business development plan far faster than we were previously planning.

"I have recently returned from China where I finalised amongst other things, an agreement for our New Zealand-based production machinery business to undertake a number of significant projects to automate production facilities over the next five years," said Broadhurst.

F&P said that it is now focusing on technology innovation, new product development and the company's component and technology business.

"In the next few months we will be releasing the largest number of new Fisher & Paykel products at any one time in our company's 79 year history. These products include new refrigeration, cooktops, a new oven platform and new laundry products," said Broadhurst.

Longer term plans are for F&P to build its capabilities here and internationally to contribute to the world's largest appliance manufacturer, and continue to deliver positive benefits to New Zealand as a result.