manufacturer Whirlpool Corp. posted global net income of $401
million in 2012, up 2.8 percent from $390 million the previous
year despite a 2.8-percent decline in sales to $18.14
Its North American business
generated operating earnings of $846 million in 2012, a
more-than-twofold increase thanks to cost- and capacity-cutting
initiatives last year. North American sales saw a slight uptick
to $9.63 billion even though shipments fell 5 percent to 24.3
"Our actions have clearly
produced the expected improvement in operating margins,
resulting in strong earnings per share and underlying cash
flow," chairman and chief executive officer Jeff M. Fettig said
in a Jan. 31 statement.
"We successfully improved
operating margins through our cost-based price increases,
product mix, cost- and capacity-reduction initiatives and
ongoing productivity programs," he added. "Those actions,
combined with improving trends in U.S. housing and growth
opportunities in emerging markets, create positive momentum
going into 2013."
The Benton Harbor, Mich.-based
appliance manufacturer anticipates a 2- to 3-percent
industrywide increase in North American appliance shipments
A more competitive cost
structure, name-brand popularity and new product introductions
"have positioned us well for global industry demand recovery,"
Fettig said. "We will continue funding our business and
executing our long-term growth strategy."
Latin American shipments
improved 6.8 percent to 12.6 million appliances in 2012,
although sales fell 2.2 percent and operating earnings declined
nearly 26 percent. The company expects industry shipments in
the region to increase 3 to 5 percent this year.
Whirlpool posted a $51-million
operating loss for Europe, the Middle East and Africa on a
13.1-percent drop in sales. Shipments fell 6.4 percent to 11.6
million appliances last year, and they are expected to be flat
The company expects appliance
shipments in Asia to grow 3 to 5 percent this year following a
slight uptick to 4 million units last year. Operating earnings
in the region improved 22.3 percent despite sales falling 3.8