Whirlpool's Q2 Sales Up, Earnings Down

By Alan Wolf On Aug 4 2008 - 6:00am

Whirlpool's second-quarter earnings fell 27 percent to $117 million amid a backdrop of rising oil and materials costs and a weak U.S. market.

Still, sales for the world's largest majap maker rose 5 percent to $5.1 billion for the three months, ended June 30, on strength in the Asian, European and Latin American markets, where revenues rose 9 percent, 17 percent and 22 percent, respectively.

"Whirlpool made solid progress toward improving operating results from first-quarter levels despite an increasingly challenging economic environment," said Whirlpool chairman/CEO Jeff Fettig in a statement. "The cost inflation facing our business is significant, and we continue to take steps to address this challenge."

Within the North American market, sales slipped 4 percent to $2.9 billion and operating profit fell 44 percent to $101 million. Whirlpool attributed the drops to significantly higher material and oil-related costs, lower industry demand and increased marketing expenditures, which were partially offset by improved productivity and a favorable mix of premium-priced products.

"The challenges resulting from significant global commodity inflation have persisted and, in many instances, accelerated," Fettig said. "We continue to execute previously announced cost-based price increases and cost reduction actions."

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