Electrolux AB posted a wider fourth-quarter loss in part due to the costs of shuttering plants and cutting jobs. The Stockholm, Sweden-based manufacturer whose brands include Frigidaire, Electrolux, Weed Eater, and Eureka lost 956 million kronor (U.S. $112.3 million) for the 3 months ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of 286 million kronor a year earlier. Revenue fell 4.1 percent to 30.6 billion kronor ($3.6 billion) for the quarter from 31.8 billion kronor a year ago.
For the year, the company earned 5 billion kronor ($587.2 million), up from 3.8 billion kronor in 2001. Revenue fell to 133.1 billion kronor ($15.6 billion) from 135.8 billion kronor in 2001. In December 2002, Electrolux said it would cut more than 5,000 jobs through 2004, and close some plants in the U.S., China, Australia and India. The company said it took a charge of nearly 1.37 billion kronor ($153 million) during the fourth quarter to cover the restructuring costs.
Electrolux also said it would shift some production from Sweden, Italy, and Germany to Romania, as well as moving some refrigerator production from Spain to Hungary. It also planned to restructure its compressor operations in Spain and India.
The company said it will pay a 2002 dividend of 6 kronor (70 cents) a share, up from the 4.5 kronor it paid in 2001.
The company also warned it was uncertain how asbestos litigation in the United States might affect Electrolux, noting there are 218 lawsuits against it pending. Electrolux said it has set aside $9 million to cover any costs, and is determining the extent of its insurance coverage. (Associated Press)
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