Electrolux Profit Misses Estimates, Keeps U.S. Market Forecast

Electrolux AB (ELUXB), the world’s second-biggest maker of home appliances, reported lower fourth-quarter profit than analysts anticipated and reiterated its market forecast for North America.

Earnings before interest and taxes fell 23 percent to 1.22 billion kronor ($187 million), the Stockholm-based maker of AEG stoves and Frigidaire refrigerators said in a statement today. The average of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg was 1.38 billion kronor.

“The slow development in Europe and global currency effects continued to impact earnings,” Chief Executive Officer Keith McLoughlin said in a statement.

The Swedish company is reducing expenditure and moving production to low-cost countries to counteract economic weakness in Europe while trying to capture growth by introducing products, including a new collection in China.

Fourth-quarter sales decreased 1 percent to 28.9 billion kronor. Analysts had anticipated 29.5 billion kronor, the average of 14 estimates.

“Even if falling demand is leveling out in Europe, Electrolux continues to suffer from soft demand and price pressure,” analysts Fredrik Nilhov and Niclas Hoeglund at Swedbank AB said in a note last week.

Electrolux reiterated that demand in the North American market is expected to increase by 4 percent this year and raised its forecast for the European market, where it now sees a “slightly positive” development, compared with an earlier prediction of unchanged demand.

Whirlpool Corp. (WHR), the maker of KitchenAid appliances, yesterday reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share that missed estimates. The Benton Harbor, Michigan-based company forecast U.S. industry shipments will increase by as much as 7 percent this year.

One-time items of 1.5 billion kronor related to an overhead cost reduction program weighed on the company’s after-tax results. The board proposed a dividend for 2013 of 6.50 kronor a share, unchanged from a year earlier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katarina Gustafsson in Stockholm at kgustafsson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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