Whirlpool reports Q2 loss

Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool has announced a second-quarter net loss of $161 million, compared with net earnings of $205 million in the same period last year. 

Second-quarter results include the settlement of a Brazilian collection dispute for about $3.78 per share and increased accruals related to developments in the Embraco antitrust matters of $1.08 per share.

Sales in the second quarter of 2011 totaled $4.7 billion, up 4% from $4.5 billion in the second quarter of 2010. 

"While the challenging economic environment has kept us from achieving our targeted margins, we delivered a solid quarter," said Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool chairman and CEO. "Our continued cost and productivity initiatives coupled with strong product innovation have helped mitigate a volatile demand environment and record levels of material cost inflation. Additionally, our recently announced price increases in key countries around the world help position us for stronger second half performance."

In the company’s North American division, second-quarter sales totaled $2.4 billion, down 7% from the prior year. North America unit shipments decreased about 5%, while U.S. industry unit shipments of major appliances decreased about 10%.

Operating profit for the North America region totaled $76 million, down 62% from $200 million in the previous year.

Based on the current economic outlook, Whirlpool expects full-year 2011 U.S. industry unit shipments to decrease between 1% and 2%.

"We expect global economic volatility to continue in the near term," Fettig said. "We are rapidly adjusting to a much more challenging global economic environment.  Our primary focus is to expand operating margins, which we expect to do throughout the second half of the year."

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