Q2 sales dip for Whirlpool EMEA

Whirlpool saw sales in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) fall five per cent in the second quarter of 2017, ending June 30.

Net sales for the region reached $1.2 billion (£906 million), compared with $1.3bn in the same quarter last year.

The global appliance brand reported breakeven GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) operating profit.

Ongoing business segment operating profit was also breakeven, compared with $60m in the previous year.

Compared with the first quarter, the region saw operating profit improvement of $17m. This was driven by improved product availability.

Whirlpool said it continued to anticipate solid second-half operating profit recovery, driven by its simplified brand structure, additional product availability improvements and the deployment of marketing actions to support new product launches.

It expected full-year 2017 industry unit shipments to be flat to up to two per cent.

Marc Bitzer, president and chief operating officer of Whirlpool Corporation, said: “We expect profitable growth in EMEA during the second half of this year, and remain confident in our ability to manage through volatility in emerging markets.”

As a whole, the group saw Q2 net sales of $5.3bn, compared with $5.2bn in the same quarter last year. Excluding the impact of currency, sales increased by more than three per cent.

Second-quarter GAAP operating profit was $274m, or 5.1 per cent of sales, compared with $368m, or 7.1 per cent of sales, a year earlier.

Ongoing business operating profit reached $373m, or 6.9 per cent of sales, compared with $437m, or 8.4 per cent of sales in Q2 2016.

On a GAAP and ongoing basis, cost productivity and unit volume growth partially offset unfavourable impacts from raw material inflation and product price/mix.

“We delivered very strong results in North America and Latin America and improved EMEA operating margins,” said Jeff Fettig (pictured), chairman and chief executive of Whirlpool Corporation. “We also continued to deliver significant improvements in our free cash flow generation and remain confident in our full-year free cash flow goals.”

For the full year, the group expected to generate cash from operating activities of $1.65bn to $1.7bn and expects to generate free cash flow of $1bn.