Stockholm, Sweden – Restructuring charges and unfavorable exchange rates carried majap powerhouse Electrolux into the loss column last quarter.
The company lost 92 million kronor for the three months, ended June 30, compared with year-ago net earnings of 431 million kronor, while net sales dipped 5 percent to 26.3 billion kronor.
Nevertheless, the manufacturer reported improving margins due to a mix shift to more profitable products and greater worldwide production efficiencies, along with strengthening demand in key global markets.
In North America, net sales were essentially flat at 8.5 billion kronor despite a 7 percent increase in industry volume, and operating income rose 2.6 percent to 680 million kronor. Sales were impacted by a significant decline in room air shipments and a fire at a component supplier that constrained refrigeration and laundry product availability, president/CEO Keith McLoughlin said.
The improvement in operating income reflected a combination of price increases, a richer product mix and a focus on premium majaps, including cooking products and multi-door refrigeration, he said.
McLoughlin added that “the U.S. appliance market continues to recover, driven by both replacement demand and housing, with a total expected growth of 4 percent in 2014.”
Elsewhere during the quarter the company said it launched a comprehensive Frigidaire Gallery marketing campaign in the U.S. that has “significantly” increased brand demand, while this month Electrolux is shutting its cooking plant in L’Assomption, Quebec, and moving production to its Memphis, Tenn., facilities.