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Whirlpool Q3 N.A. Sales Increase 6%

10/16/2002 09:40:00 AM Eastern

Benton Harbor, Mich. - Record sales and operating profit were posted in the North American business of major appliance maker Whirlpool in the third quarter.

The company said North American sales increased 6 percent over the same three months last year, led by its Duet washer and a favorable mix of other majaps.

Operating profit increased 5 percent in North America in the third quarter, compared with a record level in the third quarter in 2001.

Success in North America helped push overall Whirlpool third quarter earnings into the black. The company reported a net profit of $101 million in the three months, ended Sept. 30, compared with a net loss of $94 million in the year-ago period.

During the quarter, Whirlpool recorded restructuring and related charges of $16 million pre-tax, primarily for previously announced initiatives.

Whirlpool consolidated third quarter sales climbed 6 percent, hitting $2.8 billion, up from $2.6 billion in the same three months in 2001.

'Our regional businesses performed well during the quarter, despite economic pressures and uncertainties worldwide,' said David R. Whitwam, chairman/CEO.

'The solid results were driven by the success of our brands and innovation initiatives in the marketplace, such as our Whirlpool brand Duet clothes washer and dryer, and by the benefits of our restructuring initiative and productivity improvements.'

For the nine months, Whirlpool sales hit $8 billion, up from $7.7 billion in the same period last year. The company also reported a $364 year to date net loss.

Looking ahead, Whitwam said he expects 'a solid fourth quarter performance based on the strength of our global brands and the ability of our regional operations to continually create competitive cost advantages by leveraging the assets of Whirlpool's global platform.'