Electrolux AB posted a first-quarter net loss of 346 million kronor (approx. US$40 million), due to one-time costs in marketing and plant shutdowns in Russia and China. Electrolux attributed the one-off items to marketing investments, costs related to plant shutdowns in China and Russia, as well as the overhaul of an Italian washing machine plant, which it said is making more efficient.
Electrolux also said that demand for appliances will continue to drop in 2009 in its main markets in North America, Europe, and Latin America. Hans Straber, Chief Executive, called the market developments "dramatic," but emphasized the group's strong cash-flow, saying it will allow his company to take advantage of opportunities once demand picks up again. He also said that cost-saving measures -- including staff cuts, moved production and lower manufacturing costs -- are paying off, but that caution is still needed. "The challenge for us right now is to strike the right balance between the brakes and the gas pedal in order to stand strong when demand turns around," he said.
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