Breville Group Limited’s beginnings
From Breville Group Limited’s (formerly Housewares International Limited) beginnings as a small importer of basic homewares items in 1957, it grew substantially and acquired the US based Metro Marketing in 1997, before being listed on the Australian stock exchange in 1999.
In 2001 the then Housewares International Limited acquired the ‘Breville’ companies in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, as well as a 50% interest in Anglo-Canadian Housewares (a long established distributor of homewares in Canada).
These acquisitions fundamentally shifted the focus of the group towards the electrical business.
During January 2007, Housewares International Limited acquired the remaining 50% interest in Anglo-Canadian Housewares from its joint venture partner.
With the continued growth of the electrical business globally, the group disposed of its Australian homewares and cleaning businesses during March 2007.
In 2008, Housewares International changed its name to Breville Group Limited.
In 2009, the Breville Group commenced a further rationalisation of the non-electrical housewares product range in North America.
Breville Group Limited today is a global electrical business, centered around its successful and growing Breville brand.
In Australia in 1932 Bill O’Brien, a radio salesman, and Harry Norville, an engineer, scraped together 500 pounds in the midst of the nation’s worst economic depression to found “Breville Radio”. Together they built and sold radios to a generation for whom radio was the centre of family entertainment and a vital connection with a world in great upheaval.
Breville sold its radio division in 1951 with the advent of television but continued as a family business with a focus on small appliances and on seeking innovations to everyday living. It was John O’Brien, son of Bill, who in the 1960s established the Breville research and development centre which enabled it to design and produce its very own products. The establishment of this product research and development centre was one of the most significant events in the history of Breville. The research and development centre developed some of the most iconic Australian kitchen appliances, such as the Breville snack ‘n sandwich maker and the Breville kitchen wizz food processor.