Stockholm, Sweden — Higher sales volume, improved product mix and more efficient production helped send Electrolux’s operating income soaring during the first three months of the year to $108.4 million, an increase of 26.2 percent.
Net sales for continuing operations, which excludes the contribution of the company’s discontinued outdoor products business, increased 1.5 percent to nearly $3.6 billion for the quarter.
President/CEO Hans Straberg said the income gains came despite higher raw materials costs and a weaker U.S. market.
Within North America, sales of consumer durables, including major appliances and floor-care products, declined 5.2 percent to $1.2 billion during the period, although revenue rose in comparable currency. Operating income for the region increased 21.1 percent to just under $37 million. According to Electrolux, the company gained share within the North American market during the first quarter and managed to offset “significantly higher” raw materials costs through more efficient manufacturing approaches, including moving its refrigeration production to a recently built plant in Juarez, Mexico.
“Since 2005, sales of major appliances have improved continuously in every quarter in comparison with the preceding year,” Straberg said of the company’s global operations. “In light of our continued investments in products with strong growth, additional leverage from regions with high growth, and our focus on sales channels that grow faster than the market, we see no reason to expect that this trend will be interrupted.”