Whirlpool Corp. announced 4Q 2011 and full-year 2011 earnings, saying that its cost cutting measures have helped it report higher 4Q profits.
Whirlpool Corp. fourth-quarter 2011 net earnings were $205 million, up from $171 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. 4Q 2011 were $4.9 billion, down from $5.0 billion in 4Q 2010. Whirlpool said Improving price/mix was offset by unfavorable currency and lower industry demand. 4Q 2011 operating profit was $205 million, up slightly from $202 million in 4Q 2010.
Cost cutting measures helped the appliance maker improve profitability in North America, although this was partially offset by a weak European market.
Full-year 2011 operating profit was $792 million, compared to $1.0 billion in 2010 - a decrease that the company blamed primarily on higher material and oil-related costs. Full-year 2011 sales were $18.7 billion, up 2% from 2010.
"As we enter 2012, we are executing strong actions to continue to improve operating margins through our cost and capacity reduction initiatives, ongoing productivity programs and previously announced price increases," said Chairman and CEO Jeff M. Fettig. "We exit 2011 with improving product price/mix, significantly lower inventory levels and strong new product innovation. These initiatives are the key drivers to improving our operating margins throughout 2012."
Fettig said he expects industry demand in 2012 to be flat or improve slightly, and said Whirlpool Corp. is planning for the year accordingly.
"The cadence of strong product innovation, price/mix momentum entering the year, recently announced cost-based price increases, benefits from our cost and capacity reduction initiatives and on-going productivity programs are expected to improve our results in the coming year and show significant progress towards our long-term financial goals," said Fettig. "As illustrated by the operating profit improvement we've seen in our North America business, we are beginning to yield a strong improvement in our operating results."
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