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March 2, 2009

Japanese firm upbeat over Philippine expansion
Japan’s biggest bathroom and sanitary wares manufacturer expects sales of high-tech toilets in the Philippines to be “better” this year despite the global crisis, reported the Manila Times.

In a briefing, Kasuo Watanabe, president of TOTO Asia-Oceania Pte. Ltd. told reporters that sales are expected to reach between $5 million and $6 million this year compared with $4.5 million in 2008.

“We are confident that we will overcome the economic crisis. We will hit our targets this year,” Watanabe said.

Sebastian Chia, TOTO’s assistant manager in the Philippine market said the company is strengthening its presence in the country as it will open a showroom in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

“The flagship showroom in the Philippines evokes pride for TOTO, and it goes to show that the Philippine market is very dear to us, aside from being a strategic one from a business point of view,” Chia said.

He said the company plans to expand its presence in Visayas and Mindanao, adding it partnered with Spira Sales Corp, which would be its authorised distributor in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon area.

The TOTO executive said its partnership with Spira would further grow its presence in the Philippines.

Chia said there is a big market for high-tech toilets in the Philippines because of the growing business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, hotels as well as government projects.

TOTO’s restroom products include toilet basins, urinals, sinks, washbasins, toilet seats, system bathrooms, faucets, among others. At present, TOTO has manufacturing plants in about 20 countries producing plumbing-related household fixtures for bathrooms, kitchens and wash products.

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