Whirlpool Corporation today announced record fourth-quarter 2005 net earnings of U.S. $126 million, or $1.83 per diluted share, compared to $97 million, or $1.44 per diluted share, in the same period last year. The appliance company, based in Benton Harbor, Michigan, U.S., also reported record full-year 2005 net earnings of $422 million, or $6.19 per diluted share, compared to $406 million, or $5.90 per diluted share last year.
Fourth-quarter net sales increased 9 percent from the prior-year period to $4 billion. Excluding currency translations, net sales increased by approximately 8 percent. For the full year, net sales increased $1.1 billion, or 8 percent to $14.3 billion. Excluding currency translations, net sales increased approximately 6 percent. Both fourth quarter and annual net sales represented records for the company.
“Overall, 2005 was a challenging operating environment where we faced all-time high levels of material and oil-related costs. Our global business responded well to this environment and enabled us to deliver a record year of results for our shareholders,” said Whirlpool Chairman and CEO Jeff M. Fettig. “These results were driven by very positive consumer demand for our new product innovations, strong sales performance, disciplined cost controls and overall outstanding execution by our people around the world.
“We are pleased with our 2005 financial performance, as well as the significant progress made to strengthen our company’s competitiveness for the future,” added Fettig. “Our business is well positioned entering 2006 as we will launch the largest number of new products-to-market in the company’s history. Our innovation pipeline continues to grow, consumer and trade response has been strong, and we continue to execute our strategy of delivering consumer-relevant innovation to our customers worldwide.”
Whirlpool brand Duet Sport(TM) and Duet Sport(TM) HT (pictured) models are smaller versions of the popular Duet(R) front-load pair, with a six-point suspension to reduce vibration and noise. Like the Duet pair, they use less than half the water and energy of conventional top-loaders, according to Whirlpool. The Duet Sport(TM) model will be available in March 2006 and the Duet Sport(TM) HT model, with a super-capacity washer drum and high-temperature “sanitary cycle,” will be available in May 2006.
Whirlpool brand “classic” top-load washer and dryer have been redesigned with new technology intended to simplify cycle selections and ensure optimal wash temperature, and with built-in sensors to monitor wash water. The dryer’s AccelerCare(TM) system is said to dry clothes as fast as the washer cleans them. The “classic” pair will be available in May 2006.
Whirlpool brand also launched the Whirlpool Gold(R) Velos(TM) SpeedCook oven. The oven delivers four ways to cook in a single appliance, intending to combine the capacity and performance of an oven with the speed of a microwave.
KitchenAid brand launched the Dual Fuel Convection Range with Steam-Assist, providing steam during cooking to help cook a range of foods.
Whirlpool Europe launched the Blue Touch front-loading washing machine, with a new full-height control panel with a central push button control area and LCD technology, design to provide full feedback. The Blue Touch model was named the United Kingdom’s "Fabric Care Product of the Year 2006 by Get Connected Magazine.
Recent Whirlpool Successes
The Whirlpool(R) Fabric Freshener, an appliance designed to relax wrinkles and removes odors from fabrics in about 30 minutes, received a Good Buy award from consumer magazine Good Housekeeping.
Whirlpool Latin America was listed in the Carta Capital Magazine ranking of “The most admired (companies) in Brazil 2005” in the home appliances segment.
KitchenAid brand was ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Dishwashers and Ranges, Cooktops and Ovens” by J.D. Power and Associates 2005 Major Home Appliances Study.