– Electrolux credited its focus on strong brands, innovative products and
cost-efficient production for delivering its best first-quarter results ever in
Net income for the three months,
ended March 31, was $126.4 million, compared with a year-ago loss of $48
million, and net sales rose 4.1 percent to $3.5 billion, excluding the negative
impact of currency fluctuations.
In North America, net sales inched
up less than 1 percent to $1.1 billion, excluding the negative impact of
currency fluctuations, and operating income skyrocketed more than 300 percent
to just less than $50 million.
In a statement, president/CEO Hans
Straberg attributed the operating income gains in North
America to a better product mix, which was achieved by increasing
sales and market share of the company’s Electrolux and Frigidaire brands while
phasing out unprofitable low-volume private-label lines, ostensibly for Sears.
Also boosting operating income in North America was improved pricing and higher production
efficiency, the company said, although raw-materials costs increased from the
prior and year-ago quarters.
Straberg added that demand in the U.S. market “recovered somewhat more quickly than we
anticipated” with strong growth in March, but said the company is capable of
quickly ramping up production while launching new lines.