Weakness in Europe, Middle East, and Africa Hits Whirlpool Earnings

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Weakening economies around the world hurt Whirlpool in the second quarter of 2018.

The company said it earned $3.20 per share, short of the $3.69 per share forecast by Wall Street analysts. Revenue of $5.14 billion was below the $5.29 billion forecast.

Although some critics of the Trump administration and the company itself were quick to blame the profit miss on tariffs on steel and aluminum, which Whirlpool uses to build its appliances, the impact of tariffs might not be as important as they first seem.

The shortfall was mostly due to the weakness in Europe, Middle East, Africa businesses, CEO Marc Bitzer said on Monday. The company said this business suffered from “unit volume declines, raw material inflation and unfavorable foreign currency impacts.”

Sales for the EMEA region fell decreased 12.3 percent, excluding the impact of currency adjustments, the company said.

“Raw material inflation” is likely related to steel prices but falling sales were by far more serious. Whirlpool said expects to pay about $350 million more this year for raw materials, a big move up from earlier references.

But those increased costs were less than the $747 million in charges the company booked as part of the restructuring of its European business. It is also paying $114 million for an antitrust settlement in France.



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