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Whirlpool N.A. Segment Sales Rise 10%

10/20/2005 09:16:00 AM Eastern

Benton Harbor, Mich. — Record third-quarter revenue, unit shipments and operating profit highlighted financial results at the North American operation for majap maker Whirlpool, with market share results and gains in productivity offsetting higher costs of raw materials.

Whirlpool North America revenue increased 10 percent, hitting $2.3 billion during the three months, ended Sept. 30, due to the positive impact of continued strong consumer demand for the company’s branded product, said Whirlpool.

Unit shipments in the third quarter exceeded industry levels, which were up 3.6 percent, said the company.

Operating profit for the North American business climbed 14 percent, despite higher material and oil-related costs, which were mitigated by the combination of cost-based price adjustments, manufacturing productivity gains and strong cost controls, said Whirlpool.

Consolidated Whirlpool sales rose 9 percent, reaching $3.6 billion, up from a year-on-year $3.3 billion. Excluding currency translations, net sales increased by about 6 percent.

Consolidated net earnings for the third quarter came in at $114 million, compared with $101 million the previous year. Operating profit, which included about $110 million of higher material and oil-related costs hit $202 million for the three months, up from a year-ago $183 million.

Whirlpool’s results included two non-recurring items — a $9 million gain from the sale of a business, while operating income was reduced about $6 million due to a fire at a major distribution center in the United Kingdom.

“We are pleased with the strategic and operational progress our company has made during this period of unprecedented cost increases,” said Jeff Fettig, chairman/CEO.

Whirlpool said it continued with a combination of actions begun last year to address higher costs. “These actions included driving higher levels of controllable productivity, leveraging our global operating platform, reducing non-product related spending, accelerating the rate of innovation to the market and implementing cost-based price adjustments,” said Fettig.

For the nine months, Whirlpool sales increased 8 percent to a record $10.4 billion, up from $9.6 billion in the same time frame in 2004. However, net earnings dropped to $296 million for the nine months, from $309 million, primarily due to $480 million in higher costs for material and oil-related products, according to the company.

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