14930 Wed, 07/23/2008 - 12:42pm
BENTON HARBOR, Mich.–Second-quarter net earnings for Whirlpool plummeted 27.3 percent to $117 million, in spite of a 5 percent gain in the appliance giant’s sales, which reached $5.1 billion in the quarter.
In a Whirlpool statement, Jeff Fettig, chairman and chief executive officer, cited the “significant” cost inflation and “an increasingly challenging economic environment.” Higher raw-materials and oil-related costs, lower U.S. volume and an increase in restructuring costs combined to depress Whirlpool’s bottom line in the second quarter. The company’s sales in North America fell 4 percent to $2.9 billion, while total industry shipments of appliances dropped 8 percent, the company said.
Whirlpool also said it expects U.S. industry shipments to fall from 6 percent to 7 percent for all of 2008. Fettig said the company is going forward with cost-based price increases and carrying out actions to reduce costs.
“These actions, coupled with other productivity initiatives and bringing innovative new products to the marketplace, are critical to our ability to offset the record commodity and oil-related costs and lower industry demand,” Fettig said.