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North America Boosts Electrolux Financials

For the fourth quarter, Electrolux announced that sales slipped 1% to 109.15 billion Swedish Krona, or about $16.8 billion. Organic growth advanced by 4.5%, but net income slipped to SEK 2.81 billion, or $432.5 million, from SEK 3.25 billion, or $500.7 million, in last year’s fourth quarter.

Organic growth figures omit currency exchange rate fulgurations.

In announcing the results, Electrolux president and CEO Keith McLoughlin stated, “In 2013, Electrolux delivered organic sales growth of 4.5%, the second consecutive year ahead of our annual target of 4%. Over the past two years, growth in local currencies including acquisitions was 14%. Our ambition to increase our rate of new product launches and expand our market coverage combined with our consumer insight work is paying off in terms of both sales growth and market share. Increased sales volumes and mix improvements had a positive effect on earnings while the challenging European market and unfavorable currency development had an adverse impact. In October, we communicated the continuation of the manufacturing footprint program aimed at strengthening overall competitiveness. We also initiated a new overhead cost reduction program. Both of these programs are mainly directed towards the restoration of profitability in Major Appliances EMEA.

McLoughlin continued, “Particularly, growth was strong for Major Appliances North America, Asia/Pacific, Small Appliances and in Professional Products. The slow development in Europe and global currency effects continued to impact earnings. In Europe, the market remained weak. Sales grew slightly in the quarter, and we captured market share under our strategic brands, which is the result of extensive product launches over the past two years. For 2014, we expect demand for core appliances to be slightly positive. North America recorded another quarter of strong organic sales growth of close to 8%. Earnings in the quarter remained on a high level. For 2014, we expect market demand for core appliances in the U.S. to grow by 4%.”