Stockholm, Sweden – Rising white-goods demand led by a sales resurgence in Europe helped drive Electrolux’s sales and earnings higher in the first quarter.
Net income increased 19.3 percent to 431 million krona while net sales edged up 1 percent to 25.6 billion krona, the company reported.
In North America sales were essentially flat, down 0.2 percent to 7.6 billion krona, and operating income fell 16.4 percent to 382 million krona, due to extreme winter weather in January and February, and unfavorable currency fluctuations.
But demand rebounded strongly in March, the manufacturer reported, and price increases and higher sales of cooking products and refrigerators helped offset the negative impact of exchange rates.
The company also announced that a shift of cooking production from a plant in L’Assomption, Quebec, Canada, to facilities in Memphis, Tenn., is nearly completion, and that the Canadian factory will be closed in July.
In a statement, Electrolux president/CEO Keith McLoughlin said he remains confident that the North American market will continue its recovery, but pegged full-year majap industry growth at 4 percent in the U.S., below the 5 to 7 percent shipment gains Whirlpool projected earlier today.
He added that the company’s North American product mix will continue tilting toward the more profitable premium segment, and that Electrolux will maintain its efforts to cut costs, optimize its global production structure and increase the pace of innovative product launches.