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Round-up | NEWS


UK tech fi rm signs ‘milestone’ deal to sell water-saving washing machines


XEROS Technology Group, based in Leeds, has signed a “major” deal with Indian appliances group IFB Industries to manufacture domestic washing machines using Xeros water-saving XOrb and XDrum technologies. XOrbs are recyclable polymer


spheres developed by Xeros to replace up to 80% of the water used in a typical cycle, while the XDrum is the patented technology developed by Xeros to store the polymer spheres when they are not in use. Xeros said sales of its “near- waterless” commercial washing machines and domestic washing machines incorporating its technologies


are planned to


commence in India in 2020 and 2021 respectively.


of


Mark Nichols, chief executive Xeros,


said that the licensing


agreement with the “leading Indian OEM for both the domestic appliance and commercial laundry markets is another major milestone in the commercialisation of our cleaning technologies”. He added: “IFB’s capabilities and


market reach make them a very strong commercialisation partner in a country where water demand is expected to increase by more than 60% over the next 30 years, with some 80% of the current population already impacted by water scarcity. In January, the company signed a deal with a subsidiary of one of the world’s largest washing machine manufacturers, Midea


Group in China, which committed to develop


and design a prototype domestic washing machine including Xeros’s technologies.


If successful, the agreement allows for both parties to enter into commercial discussions under a separate agreement and timetable. Water standards body Wras has said washing machines are one of the biggest culprits for water usage, using an estimated 50 litres per wash, with older machines guilty of using even more than this. Xeros said that during the past fi ve years, its near-waterless commercial washing machines, which are certifi ed as an Environmentally Preferable Product, have saved just over 887 million litres of water – enough to keep the taps running for a year in 5,377 UK households or to power 148m toilet fl ushes.


Revenue boost at Howdens from January price hike


KBB MERCHANT Howden Joinery said sales revenue was up almost 6% for the 16 weeks to April 20 against the same period last year, which it attributed to raising prices at the start of the year. On a like-for-like basis – excluding the opening of new depots – sales were up 3.9%. It said this growth came despite


strong volume comparators in the same period in 2018. The fi rm said: “Looking forward, we are on track with our plans for the year as a whole, although remain watchful of market conditions and the further impact that


Brexit may have on the economy.” In February, reporting its full-year


fi nancial results, Howdens said that it had taken a number of measures to prepare for a worst-case Brexit scenario, including purchasing £15 million of extra stock and putting emergency plans in place with key suppliers. The fi rm was one of a number of


KBB fi rms, suppliers and retailers making contingency plans to prepare for the UK leaving the EU.


Howdens said it had opened eight new depots so far this year, bringing its total to 702 in the UK.


Roman in three-year pledge to sponsor BiKBBI


LUXURY UK shower specialist Roman has become a corporate sponsor of the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI). The company, which has pledged to support the objectives of the BiKBBI, said that the sponsorship deal will run for three years. It said it shared the BiKBBI’s vision and commitment to drive product compliance and standards. Roman managing director David


Osborne (pictured) said of the deal: “We’ve been increasingly impressed with the activity of BiKBBI over recent months and years and their membership growth is itself a testament to their aims and objectives. We share their vision for education and communication at all levels of our industry – and, of course, we have a mutual interest in driving compliance and product standards.” Welcoming Roman on board,


BiKBBI chief executive Damian Walters added: “Not only is Roman a great brand that is well respected within our industry, but it’s a business that very much operates ethically and to the very highest standards. We’re incredibly proud that Roman have committed to sponsorship and we look forward to working with the team, especially on the subject of CE Marking and the importance of product compliance messaging with our membership.”


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