Whirlpool Fourth Quarter Profit Jumps

BENTON HARBOR — The world’s largest appliance maker, Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR), posted net income of $180 million, or $2.28 a share, in the fourth quarter of 2015, up from $81 million or $1.02 a share in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The higher profit was the result of a sharp decrease — more than $400 million — in the cost of products sold. Selling, general and administrative costs also fell.

Revenue was $5.56 billion, down from $6 billion a year earlier. The company said sales declined because of currency translation on overseas sales caused by a stronger U.S. dollar. Without the impact of currency, sales rose 4 percent.

For the full year, net income was $783 million or $9.83 a share, up from $650 million or $8.17 a share a year earlier. Revenue was $20.89 billion, up from $19.87 billion a year earlier.

“Our strong operational execution delivered another year of record revenue and earnings per share along with strong free cash flow,” Whirlpool chairman and CEO Jeff M. Fettig said in a press release. “These record results demonstrate that our strategy and larger global operating platform continue to create substantial levels of shareholder value even in a year of unprecedented volatility in global markets.”

The company said it expected earnings per share of $11.25 to $12 for 2016, cash flow between $700 million and $800 million, and capital spending of $700 million to $750 million.

Whirlpool North America reported fourth-quarter net sales of $2.9 billion, compared to $2.8 billion in the same prior-year period. The region reported a fourth-quarter operating profit of $340 million, compared to $255 million in the same prior-year period. The company expects full-year 2016 industry unit shipments to increase by 5 percent.

Whirlpool Europe, Middle East and Africa reported fourth-quarter net sales of $1.5 billion, compared to $1.7 billion in the same prior-year period. The region reported fourth-quarter operating profit of $88 million, compared to $41 million in the same prior-year period. The company expects full-year 2016 industry unit shipments to be flat to up 2 percent.

Whirlpool Latin America reported fourth-quarter net sales of $0.8 billion, compared to $1.3 billion in the same prior-year period. The region reported fourth-quarter GAAP operating profit of $58 million, compared to $147 million in the same prior-year period, due to unfavorable currency translations and weaker demand in Brazil. The company expects full-year 2016 industry unit shipments in Brazil to decrease by 10 percent.

Whirlpool Asia reported fourth-quarter net sales of $312 million, compared to $282 million in the same prior-year period. The region reported a fourth-quarter GAAP operating profit of $5 million, compared to an operating loss of $22 million in the same prior-year period.

Whirlpool has 97,000 employees and 70 manufacturing and technology research centers throughout the world. The company markets Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Consul, Brastemp, Amana, Bauknecht, Jenn-Air, Indesit and other major brand names in nearly every country. More at http://www.whirlpoolcorp.com.

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