Tuesday 20 August 2019

Slendertone owner plots Asian growth after revenue boost

British TV personality Amy Willerton has spoken about using Slendertone in the past. Photo: Anthony Harvey
British TV personality Amy Willerton has spoken about using Slendertone in the past. Photo: Anthony Harvey
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

The Galway-based company Bio-Medical, which makes the Slendertone slimming device, is to bulk up its activities in China and other Asian markets in the coming year following "exceptionally strong sales" in Japan.

Brian Sheehan, who was appointed ceo of the BMR Group in January 2017, said: "The recent declassification of electrical muscle stimulation devices from medical to everyday use in South Korea and other Asian countries opens up a lot of opportunities and the market is growing strongly as a result."

The company launched the high-tech Slendertone's Connect Abs Belt in October 2015.

App-controlled devices are especially popular in tech-savvy Japan. The product comes with its own smartphone app for IOS and Android and allows users to monitor daily progress and create their own programme with weekly targets and monitoring tools.

In 2016, the group consolidated its Irish and international companies into a single entity, Bio-Medical Research Group, with accounts just filed showing that group turnover increased to €52.5m from €48.5m in 2016.

While it had a gross profit of €25.3m there was an operating loss of €8.46m in 2016 which the company blamed partly on one-off charges.

These include a provision for the depreciation of the distribution rights of the Flex Belt. The value of this intangible asset was fully impaired in its 2016 accounts, resulting in an expense of €3.2m, according to the accounts.

In January 2016, BMR Group's US subsidiary, Slendertone Distribution Inc, acquired the distribution rights to the Flex Belt range of muscle- toning equipment under an agreement with its US owner, M&M Inc.

The FDA-approved Flex Belt range is a well-known trademark in the US, especially California, with a significant online retail presence and the group said it had enjoyed a significant increase in sales in the wake of the acquisition.

The company also said that administration expense increased to due higher investment in research and development.

The BMR Group employs 118 people and its board is chaired by Dr Bernard Collins. The original company was established over 50 years ago in Ireland and to date it has sold over 10m products worldwide.

Among the celebrities who have claimed to use Slendertone in the past is Amy Willerton, a British TV personality who represented Britain at the Miss Universe 2013 pageant.

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