Whirlpool profits fall 46%
Margin expansion actions drive improvement despite weak demand
Whirlpool has reported first-quarter earnings down 46% to $92 million. The manufacturer said the drop was largely due to restructuring costs and a decline in income from Brazilian tax credits, but profit margins widened as it raised prices and cut costs. Net sales dropped 1.2% to $4.35 billion compared to the same quarter last year.
On an adjusted basis, first-quarter operating profit totalled $232 million, up significantly from the $163 million reported in the prior year. Continued improvement in product price/mix, cost and capacity reduction initiatives and ongoing productivity positively impacted results. Strong profitability improvement in the North America and Latin America regions was partially offset by weak economic conditions in Europe.
"The first quarter was a strong start to the year as we benefited from our margin expansion efforts and continued innovation investments," said Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool Corporation chairman and chief executive officer. "Our cost and capacity reduction initiatives and previously implemented cost-based pricing actions are on track to deliver our operating profit margin, earnings and free cash flow guidance for the year."