Stockholm, Sweden - A positive demand for most of Electrolux's products in North America in 2002 helped the major appliance maker post gains in its shipments of core appliances to the United States increased by about 7 percent.
In the fourth quarter, U.S. shipments of core appliances climbed about 6 percent. Sales of refrigerator and cooking products, in particular, were substantially higher than in 2001.
Sales of consumer durables, primarily major appliances, in North America climbed to $5.7 billion in 2002, up from $5.5 billion the previous 12 months. Fourth quarter sales were flat, coming in at $1.07 billion, compared with $1.08 billion in the year-ago three months.
Operating income for consumer durables in North America increased to $383 million in 2002, up from $212.4 million the previous year. In the fourth quarter, operating income rose to $56.2 million, compared with $15.7 million in the same quarter in 2001. Income for the North American operation in 2001 was negatively impacted by a $123 million one-time cost for the phase-in of a new generation of refrigerators.
Overall sales of white goods hit $10.1 billion in 2002, said Electrolux, up from $9.7 billion in the same period a year earlier. White goods share of overall sales increased to 77.1 percent in 2001, compared with 75.9 percent in 2001. Laundry equipment sales edged downward in 2002, to $272.7 million, compared with $281.9 million the previous 12 months.
Consolidated Electrolux sales dipped 2 percent in 2002, to $15.6 billion, compared with $15.9 billion in 2001. Operating income was off 23 percent, decreasing to $905.3 million, compared with $735.5 million the previous year. Net income increased to $596.6 million, up from $453.2 million.
For the fourth quarter, consolidated sales dropped 4.1 percent, hitting $3.6 billion, down from $3.7 billion year over year. The company's operating loss plummeted to $65.9 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $5.7 million in the same three months a year ago. During the fourth quarter, a charge of $156.7 million was made against operating income for restructuring measures.
Net loss also widened significantly, hitting $111.9 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $33.5 million in the same three months in 2001.