Whirlpool Corp. today reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $171 million, up from $95 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. Sales of $5.0 billion increased 4% from 4Q of 2009. Fourth quarter operating profit totaled $202 million compared to $199 million in 4Q 2009.
Full-year 2010 net sales were $18.4 billion, up 7% over 2009. Sales were up 5% when excluding the impact of foreign currency translation.
"Delivering consumer-relevant innovations, managing costs and executing in the marketplace drove our improved performance in 2010," said Jeff M. Fettig, chairman and chief executive officer of Whirlpool Corporation. "We improved our operating margins and strengthened our financial position for the year — all indicators that our brand-value creation strategy is working.
"As we enter 2011, we remain focused on delivering higher margin innovations, realizing significant cost productivity, and achieving profitable growth driven by some recovery in demand in the developed economies and by continued strong growth in many emerging markets. In 2011, we expect to expand our operating margins despite significant global inflation and generate good levels of free cash flow and further strengthen our financial position."
During the twelve months ended December 31, 2010, the company reported cash flow from operations of $1.1 billion.
Whirlpool North America's fourth-quarter sales of $2.6 billion decreased 1% from the prior year while North America unit shipments increased approximately 5%. U.S. industry unit shipments of major appliances (washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, ranges, and compactors) increased 4% during the fourth quarter. Whirlpool's North America region reported 4Q operating profit of $53 million compared to $136 million in the previous year; 4Q operating profit after adjustments was $43 million compared to $145 million.
Whirlpool expects full-year 2011 U.S. industry unit shipments to increase between 2-3%.
Whirlpool Europe's 4Q sales were $922 million, down 4% from 4Q 2009. Excluding currency effects, sales increased approximately 4%. Overall industry unit demand increased an estimated 2% from 4Q 2009. The European business reported a 4Q 2010 operating profit of $29 million compared to an operating profit of $19 million in 4Q 2009.
Whirlpool expects full-year 2011 industry growth in Europe to be in the 2-4% range.
Whirlpool Latin America reported 4Q net sales were $1.4 billion, up 18% from 4Q 2009. Excluding currency translation, sales increased approximately 17%. Operating profit was $193 million in the fourth quarter compared to $138 million in 4Q 2009.
Whirlpool expects full-year 2011 Brazilian appliance shipments to increase 5-10%.
Whirlpool's Asia business reported 4Q sales were $204 million, up 9% from the prior year. Excluding the impact of currency, sales were up approximately 4%. Operating profit was $4 million in 4Q 2010 compared to $6 million in 4Q 2009.
Whirlpool expects full-year 2011 industry unit shipments in Asia to increase 6-8%.
For the full-year 2011, Whirlpool Corp. expects to report diluted earnings per share of $12.00 to $13.00. This outlook includes the impact of approximately $4.00 per share from U.S. energy tax credits, which the company expects to earn in 2011 as a result of recent tax legislation in the U.S. For the full year, the company expects to generate free cash flow of $400-$500 million, which includes U.S. cash pension contributions of about $300 million.
"For 2011, we expect positive but uneven demand levels around the world," said Fettig. "Raw material inflation is driving costs higher and we expect to mitigate these costs with improvements in cost productivity, innovation and recently announced price increases."
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