Whirlpool sales rise slightly in U.S.
Whirlpool North America, a division of Whirlpool Corp., reported second-quarter sales of $2.5 billion, a 4% increase over its sales in the second quarter of 2011. Overall, North America unit shipments decreased approximately 2%, the company said, with its unit shipments of major appliances to the United States increasing approximately 1%.
The North America region reported operating profit of $235 million for the second quarter, ended June 30, 2012, compared with $76 million in the previous year. Strong continued margin improvements were driven by product price/mix and cost and capacity-reduction initiatives, which more than offset lower production levels and higher material costs, the company said.
Based on the current economic outlook, the company now expects full-year 2012 U.S. unit shipments to be flat to down 2%.
As a whole, Whirlpool Corp. reported second-quarter sales of $4.5 billion, compared with $4.7 billion in the corresponding period of 2011. Net earnings of $120 million were reported for the second quarter, compared with a net loss of $164 million a year ago.
“Our North America and Latin America businesses continue to perform extremely well, and we are pleased with our financial performance through the first half of the year," said Jeff Fettig, chairman and CEO of Whirlpool Corp. "Our ongoing business operating performance is well ahead of last year offsetting lower industry demand, volatile foreign currency and material inflation. We remain positive regarding our underlying business performance and are optimistic on recent U.S. housing trends exiting the second quarter.”
Based in Benton Harbor, Mich., Whirlpool is the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances. The company’s brands include Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air and Amana.
Gift card factors in mortgage pitch
Recent promotions for a refinancing deal through Third Federal Savings & Loan include a Home Depot connection — a $100 gift card for borrowers.
“Open your Third Federal Smart Rate Mortgage by Aug. 24 and we’ll give you a $100 gift card to The Home Depot,” writes Third Federal chairman and CEO Marc Stefanski in the postscript to a letter to mass letter to homeowners.
Financing and technology packaged in solar product
Fremont, Calif.-based EchoFirst launched its newest Echo solar system and the nation’s first combined solar electric and solar thermal lease for the residential market.
The newest Echo solar system builds on the success of the Echo+ solar system, which has been installed in more than 1,000 homes. While basic solar electric or “PV” systems only provide electricity, Echo and Echo+ provide electricity and thermal energy.
Echo provides electricity and hot water, while Echo+ provides electricity, hot water, home heating and home cooling.
The latest product includes patented technology that make it even more powerful — Echo delivers up to 25% more thermal energy than the industry’s leading flat plate collectors. Integrating solar electric and solar thermal energy capture in the same system increases energy capture when compared with existing solar-electric-only systems. And the system is engineered to be easy to install on existing homes, so now even homeowners with small or difficult-to-install-on roofs can realize significant energy savings on both their electricity and water heating bills.
“We’re bringing more than a technology breakthrough to the market,” said Vikas Desai, the CEO of EchoFirst. “We’re bringing superior financing solutions to our customers as well. The newest Echo solar system is powered the Echo CompleteLease, the only residential solar lease that also harnesses the power of solar thermal technology for added utility savings. The Echo CompleteLease translates both electricity and thermal energy to savings, so homeowners can realize all the benefits of Echo in a lease. And with a dedicated fund of $50 million, just as our first step, we’ve got the financial strength to service our customers across the country.”