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Electrolux Lehel revenue up 21% in 2005

Electrolux Lehel, the Hungarian unit of Swedish white goods giant Electrolux, had revenue of Ft 133 billion in 2005, 21% more than a year before, the company announced on Thursday. In 2006, revenue is expected to reach Ft 155 billion. Electrolux Lehel sold 5m products in 2005, mostly of them exported. Electrolux Lehel's plant in Jászberény produced 1.25 million refrigerators and its plant in Nyíregyháza turned out 270,000. About 9.4% of the refrigerators were sold in Hungary. In 2006, the Nyíregyháza plant will make 640,000 refrigerators and the plant in Jászberény will turn out about the same number as last year. Electrolux Lehel made 2.34 million vacuum cleaners in 2005, selling 0.8% in Hungary, and it produced 550,000 freezers, of which 3.3% were domestic sales. Electrolux Lehel had an average 3,736 employees in 2005, 442 more than a year earlier, because of the startup of its new combined freezer-refrigerator factory. In 2006, the number is expected to reach 4,220, including 140 in March with the launch of a new assembly line. The company spent Ft 11 billion on developments in 2005. Sales director Zsolt Belényesi said 2005 was the first year that the Hungarian home appliance market contracted, slowing by 6%. He added that while Electrolux Lehel's costs remained unchanged, appliance prices dropped. In 2006, the market is expected to expand 1%, mainly because of the reduction in Hungary's main VAT rate from 25% to 20% at the start of the year.