Dyson is hoovering up the Japanese market, ahead of its much-anticipated robotic cleaners going on sale out east. It became the biggest vacuum cleaner brand in Japan in 2013 by value, thanks to a 100% increase in sales of its cordless cleaners, which now outsell its full-sized models in the country three to one.
The company is also the market leader in Taiwan and Hong Kong and said growth was 'strong' in China. These strong performances in Asia contributed to a 5% increase in underlying profits in 2013 to £382m, from £364m in 2012 (no details of actual profits let slip by the private company).
The rise both in global profits and in Asian sales is significant given the firm’s exposure to the strong pound, with exports dwarfing domestic sales. Dyson is clearly hoping that continuing to innovate will keep counteracting the adverse impact of forex on its numbers.
The firm is investing £250m in a new technology campus in Malmesbury and expects to put £3m a week into R&D this year. In tech-savvy Japan, this investment may just pay off. The country has a love of all things robot, and anticipation is already high there for Dyson’s 360 Eye robotic cleaner, which goes on sale next year.