The world's biggest producer of major appliances, Whirlpool Corp. (Benton Harbor, MI, U.S.), had third-quarter 2012 net earnings of $74 million, down from $177 million in the third quarter of 2011. In North America it posted its fourth consecutive quarter of better profits but expects full-year industry shipments in the United States to be, at best, flat.
Sales for Whirlpool worldwide in 3Q 2012 were $4.5 billion, from $4.6 billion in 3Q 2011. Excluding foreign currency effects and lower Brazilian (BEFIEX) tax credits, sales were up about 5%.
Operating profit in the quarter was $214 million from $136 million in 3Q 2011. On an adjusted basis, 3Q 2012 operating profit was $263 million, or approximately 6% of sales - up significantly from $110 million, or approximately 2% of sales, reported in 3Q 2011.
Whirlpool Corporation increased its full-year ongoing business operations diluted earnings per share guidance of $6.90 to $7.10, from the previous range of $6.50 to $7.00.
Whirlpool North America
Sales in North America were $2.4 billion in 3Q 2012, up about 2% from 3Q 2011. Overall, North America unit shipments were down approximately 5%. The North America region reported operating profit of $227 million, exceeding 9% of sales, from $62 million, approximately 3% of sales, in 3Q 2011.
Product price and mix combined with cost and capacity-reduction measures more than offset higher material costs. It was Whirlpool North America's fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year operating profit margin improvement.
Based on the current economic outlook, the company continues to expect full-year 2012 U.S. industry unit shipments to be flat to down 2%.
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