Playboy logo for range of ceramics

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 October, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 October, 1997, 12:00am

Interform Ceramics Technologies and Playboy Enterprises have signed a deal under which a range of ceramic products bearing Playboy's distinctive rabbit-head logo will be made and distributed in China.

Interform would pay Playboy a percentage of its turnover as royalties on top of minimum guarantees, Playboy vice-president Lisa Weaver said.

Mainland distribution of the range will be handled by Chaifa Holdings, which is licensed to sell and make Playboy apparel in Hong Kong and China and has a distribution network of 487 outlets.

Its licence, effective in China and Hong Kong since June, lasts for three years.

'The royalty rate is low for the first three years as we both have a vested interest in the deal,' Interform chairman Matthew Ngan said.

Interform would make 80 per cent of the Playboy ceramics, with sales of more than US$5 million expected next year.

Initially, a range of tableware and tiles would be developed and the deal later would diversify into home textiles and personal care products, he said.

Patented ceramic products carried a profit margin between 30 per cent and 40 per cent higher than those of non-branded products.

'We are in negotiations with two or more European brands, all to be available on the mainland, and we are co-operating with Chaifa,' Mr Ngan said. The deals were expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Chaifa has revealed it is in negotiations with a mainland company linked to a government ministry regarding 'potential co-operation' which could involve new investment.

Chairman John Chan Chun-tung said the potential deal was expected to bring in a strategic investor with a similar background to that of Chaifa by this month.