Despite a solid performance in North America, unfavorable currency fluctuations, acquisition-related transition costs and the impact of Brexit kept Whirlpool‘s fourth-quarter profits flat at $180 million.
Net sales for the three months ended Dec. 31 edged up 1.7 percent to $5.7 billion, with Whirlpool’s Europe, Middle East and Africa division (EMEA) posting an 8 percent sales decline amid weak U.K. demand following Britain’s exit from the European Union.
But things were markedly different in North America, where sales increased 7 percent to $3.1 billion and operating profit rose 2.3 percent to $348 million, capped, however, by currency fluctuations and a higher mix of lower-priced product that offset unit volume growth and cost productivity.
For the full year, net earnings rose 13.4 percent to $888 million on sales of $20.7 billion, which were essentially flat from 2015.
Looking ahead, Whirlpool is projecting U.S. industry unit shipments to increase 4-6 percent this year.