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Midea's Durable Foundation

A credit explosion is underpinning the appliance maker's rise.
Midea Rice Cooker
Photograph: Visual China Group/Getty Images

Sales of washing machines, fridges and rice cookers can speak volumes about where the much-vaunted Chinese consumer is heading. A look at Midea Group Co., the nation's largest maker of home appliances, offers a few more clues.

Kitchen appliances made by Shenzhen-listed Midea, known for its $5 billion acquisition of German robotics giant Kuka AG and Toshiba Corp.'s white-goods business, have been flying off the shelves. The company posted revenue growth of about 30 percent last year; including acquisitions, that figure jumps to more than 50 percent. Margins are high and stable at about 25 percent, based on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.