NEW YORK: Whirlpool Corporation reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday as it benefited from price increases and improved productivity, prompting the world’s largest appliance maker to raise its earnings outlook for the year.
The news, which boosted Whirlpool shares by 1.4 percent to $87.50 in premarket trading, came the day after Swedish rival Electrolux said it expected demand to stay weak in Europe and that it planned to push ahead with cost and production cuts in that market. Appliance makers have struggled with higher raw materials costs and tepid demand in Europe, forcing them to raise prices and rely more on still-growing markets like Latin America.
Whirlpool, the maker of Maytag and KitchenAid appliances, had raised prices in July. Both it and Electrolux had also done so last year to pass soaring raw material costs on to customers. At the time, analysts worried the moves could hurt their market shares, especially as South Korean rivals such as LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd kept prices unchanged.
Whirlpool’s sales fell to $4.50 billion from $4.63 billion in the third quarter. Analysts were looking for $4.58 billion.