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NZ carpet-maker Cavalier Bremworth’s export business has grown by 75% in the past year to offset a flat domestic market, according to

Developing overseas markets is paying off for the company, which is a division of the listed Cavalier Corporation.

In the half year to December 31, Cavalier reported tax-paid profits of $8.5 million, up 22% up on the previous period.

According to the report, late last year the company said less than 3% of its $220 million revenue in 2010 was from exports outside Australasia, but managing director Wayne Chung said he was hoping to change that in the future, moving into the United States, Canada and China.

In 2010, sales to the rest of the world, outside New Zealand and Australia, were worth $3 million, down from $4.7 million in the previous year.

Cavalier shares have risen from a trough of less than $2.30 in May last year to $3.60 yesterday.

Its carpet has mostly gone to Australia, but sales are increasing in the US since a stronger foothold has been gained from setting up new distribution partners and design-led products for the upper end of the market.

Sales general manager Steve Duncan said the company had worked hard to increase export trade beyond Australia.

He said Cavalier had been involved in markets such as the US for 30 years, but was now seeing a big increase in turnover and carpet volumes from business prospecting.

The good results would balance out a domestic market which had taken longer to come out of the recession, he said.

The export upturn was entirely from extra promotion.

American consumers were buying the New Zealand-made carpet because of market-leading design innovations and because its quality was better than traditional European sources, he said.

Cavalier’s parent company has bought a 75% stake in Christchurch felted yarn plant Radford Yarns, with the sale going unconditional last week.



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