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Whirlpool Posts Higher Earnings, Sales In Q1


Whirlpool reported
higher net earnings and sales for the first quarter ended
March 31.

Net earnings were $169 million compared to $164
million reported during the same period last year.

Sales of $4.4 billion increased 3 percent from the
$4.3 billion reported in the first quarter of 2010.

First-quarter operating profit totaled $228 million
compared with $241 million in the prior year.

“Our first quarter results reflect our ongoing cost reduction
efforts and continued innovation investments,
which helped to mitigate significant material cost inflation,”
said Jeff Fettig, chairman/CEO of Whirlpool.

For Whirlpool North America first-quarter sales of
$2.3 billion increased slightly from the prior year. North
America unit shipments increased approximately 4 percent.
U.S. industry unit shipments of major appliances
decreased approximately 1 percent during the first

The North America region reported operating profit of
$59 million compared to $94 million in the previous year.
First-quarter 2011 adjusted operating profit totaled $52
million compared to $140 million in 2010. Results were
favorably impacted by cost reduction and productivity
initiatives and foreign exchange fluctuations. These factors
were offset by lower product price/mix and higher
material costs.

Based on the current economic outlook, the company
continues to expect full-year 2011 U.S. industry unit shipments
to increase between 2 percent and 3 percent.

Looking ahead, Fettig said, “We have implemented
cost-based price increases in many regions around the
world, continue to introduce a strong cadence of innovative
new products and remain focused on accelerating
our cost reduction and productivity improvements to
manage higher material cost inflation.”

During the quarter the company introduced a Whirlpool-
branded induction cooktop; a Maytag Maxima
high-capacity front-load laundry pair with LCD displays;
and a four-door refrigerator under the KitchenAid brand
with an oversized refrigerated drawer with adjustable
temperature settings.