Sweden-based appliance maker Electrolux announced that net sales in the second quarter totaled SEK 31.9 billion (approx. U.S. $4.3 billion), down 4.1 percent from SEK 33.3 billion (approx. $4.5 billion) for the same period in 2003.
For the first half of the year, the appliance maker reported nest sales totaled SEK 62.4 billion (approx. $8.4 billion), down 4.5 percent, compared to SEK 65.4 billion (approx. $8.8 billion) for the same period in 2003. The company said the decline was due to changes in exchange rates and restructuring charges due to plant closures and a vacuum settlement lawsuit in the U.S.
Total industry shipments of core appliances in Europe increased in volume by 2 percent in the second quarter. Net sales for the region declined in the second quarter to SEK 9.9 billion (approx. $1.3 billion) from SEK 10.5 billion (approx. $1.4 billion) from the same period in 2003. Electrolux said demand for floor care products in Europe indicated growth but at lower price segments.
In the U.S., total industry shipments of core appliances increased in volume by 9 percent in the second quarter. Net sales for the region also declined in the second quarter to SEK 7.7 billion (approx. $1 billion) from SEK 8.4 billion (approx. $1.1 billion) from the same period in 2003. The company said sales of room air-conditioners were down substantially from 2003 and the market for floor care products increased in volume during the quarter.
Electrolux reported the market in Brazil, India, and Austrailia increased as net sales totaled SEK 3.3 billion (approx. $4.5 million) from SEK 3.1 billion (approx. $4.2 million) in the second quarter of 2003.
The company says it maintains its outlook for the full-year 2004 and says the market demand in 2004 is expected to show some growth from 2003 in both Europe and North America. According to the company, the higher costs of steel could have an increasingly negative impact on income for the second half of the year. Electrolux said its ambition is to offset the major part of this pressure on margins through price increases, cost-reduction programs, and new product launches.
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