TCL Corp, the leading Chinese home appliances maker, will start selling washing machines and refrigerators in the Middle East and Europe in a new push to boost its international presence.

“We produce middle-and high-end white goods and appliances, and are now taking intensive steps to prepare for their imminent release in the regions,” said Chen Weidong, its vice-president, on Tuesday.

TCL is best known as a major television manufacturer, but is expanding into the white goods sector to boost profit margins.

“Our plan is to become a top-five Chinese white-goods appliance brand by next year, and looking to overseas markets will be an important step in achieving that goal,” Chen said, without disclosing any specific sales target.

The Guangdong-based company has spent 7 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) since 2013 for its first fridge and washing machine manufacturing base.

Its production lines started last year, and are now churning out 18,200 units daily.

Chen Busheng, a freelance analyst who has been following the home appliances sector for years, said: “Though TCL is a latecomer, its existing overseas resources such as the international talent it employs and its widespread sales channels can help deliver a good performance.”

The electronics firm recorded revenue of 101 billion yuan last year, 46.6 percent of which came from overseas businesses.

As of last year, it employed 75,000 people in over 80 countries and regions, according to its official website.

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