Whirlpool sees earnings fall in first quarter

Appliance maker Whirlpool saw first-quarter earnings drop 24.2 percent to $94 million, compared with $124 million in the same period last year.

The Benton Harbor, Mich.-based company reported net revenue of $4.6 billion, up 5 percent from the $4.4 billion reported in last year’s first quarter.

"Our first-quarter results reflect a very challenging global economic environment," said Jeff Fettig, chairman and CEO of Whirlpool. "We had strong performance in our international operations, which was offset by declines in our North American business.”

Still, “unprecedented” material cost increases are presenting a challenge to the manufacturer. The company is taking an international approach, hoping to “capitalize on global growth opportunities,” Fettig said.

Net earnings for the quarter reflected “challenging macroeconomic conditions in the company's U.S. business,” the company said in a statement, noting that the company improved its operating profit in all major regions outside the United States.

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