Stockholm, Sweden - Major Appliance maker Electrolux third quarter net profit plunged by 36 percent to $133 million on sales that dipped 3.4 percent to $3.4 billion and the company expects sales for the remainder of 2002 to be at best flat.
The company did boost profit margins for the third quarter, ended Sept. 30, to 5.5 percent up from the 3.3 percent posted during the same period in 2001.
These declines occurred despite improvement in the company's U.S. business. Electrolux's financial report stated that shipments of core appliance to the U.S. market increased in volume by about 2 percent for the third quarter and this figure is boosted to 6 percent when air conditioners and microwave ovens are added to the mix. The company tempered these numbers by stating that the third quarter last year was not very healthy with sales being impacted by world events and the company taking a large recurring charge due to the start up of a new generation of refrigerators.
While market demand in the U.S. and Europe is expected to be flat to slightly off compared to the fourth quarter in 2001, Electrolux expects to post significant gains in operating income for the 2002 fiscal year.