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Whirlpool Q2 Profits Rise 163%

Benton Harbor,
Mich. – Whirlpool’s second-quarter profits soared 163 percent to $205 million
on sales of $4.5 billion, up 6 percent year over year.

 The company attributed the strong results to tighter
cost controls, increased production efficiencies and greater global unit volume
growth, which was partially offset by rising fuel and raw-materials costs and a
larger mix of lower-priced products.

“We made strong
progress towards our long-term value creation goals during the second quarter,”
said Whirlpool chairman/CEO Jeff Fettig. “Global unit volume growth combined
with our ongoing productivity improvements enabled us to expand our operating
margins and accelerate profitable growth.”

In North America,
sales for the three-month period ended June 30 rose 4 percent to $2.5 billion,
and operating profit — including a $33 million benefits concession and
excluding the favorable impact of currency fluctuations — increased  nearly 67 percent to $200 million.

Whirlpool said the
improvement was primarily the result of cost reduction, productivity
initiatives and increased sales volume, partially offset by lower
year-over-year product price/mix and higher material and oil-related costs.

Whirlpool’s unit
volume increased 7 percent in the U.S. during the second quarter, but trailed
the industry average of 12 percent for the period.

Looking ahead, the
company raised its projection for full-year U.S. industry unit growth to 5
percent, from a previous range of 3 percent to 5 percent.

Fettig described the global economic environment as “fragile” and “volatile,”
but said the company is positioned “to effectively manage through these
challenges” and deliver a record year of earnings per share.

During the quarter
the company launched the following products in the North American market:

  • the Maytag Bravos
    X, a high-efficiency, top-load laundry pair with front-load-like performance;

  • a Whirlpool
    side-by-side refrigerator with MicroEtch spill control shelves that eliminate
    shelf frames, creating wall-to-wall storage with 25 percent more usable shelf
    space than other Whirlpool side-by-sides, which can help prevent leaks and make
    cleaning easier;

  • the Maytag
    Performance Series 2000, a front-load laundry pair with more cleaning power to
    remove tough stains;

  • the Amana Green
    Tea refrigerator in a metallic green color with leaf etching, plus adjustable Spillsaver glass shelves,
    adjustable door bins, gallon door storage, and a wine rack; and

  • electric and gas
    downdraft cooktops from KitchenAid that eliminate the need for a range hood and
    provide flexible placement options on kitchen islands or peninsulas.