Whirlpool earnings up 60 percent in Q2

Whirlpool, parent of Maytag and Kenmore, reported strong second-quarter sales and earniings, due in large part to international sales growth.

Net earnings rose 60 percent to $161 million from $100 million last year. Sales rose 3 percent to $4.85 billion from $4.7 billion last year.

While Whirlpool North America reported a 6 percent drop in sales, sales in Europe rose 10 percent, sales in Asia rose 23 percent and sales in Latin American rose 29 percent.

"We are addressing current U.S. industry demand trends and heightened global material costs with continued new product innovation, increased productivity throughout our global operations, as well as improving our overall mix of business,” said Jeff Fettig, chairman and CEO.

“While weak industry demand and significantly higher material prices in the United States have unfavorably impacted our results for the past year, we are positive about the trends,” he added.

The company launched several new products in the year, and Whirlpool highlighted new products and new innovation investment from its recently acquired Maytag business. Maytag launched a new “Epic” washing machine with a built-in “OxiClean” dispenser in the second quarter.

"We now expect to realize efficiencies in excess of $400 million from the Maytag acquisition during 2007 and continue to execute plans to revitalize Maytag's product offering and growth,” Fettig said.

Whirlpool, based in Benton Harbor, Mich., manufactures appliances worldwide under several brand names, including Jenn-Air and KitchenAid.

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