Whirlpool Lowers Full Year Guidance – Slashes Jobs

October 28 00:00 2011

New York, October 28 (RainbowNewsLine.com) – Although its third-quarter earnings more than doubled, Whirlpool Corp. cut its full-year earnings forecast Friday and announced that it would be slashing more than 5,000 jobs because sales growth was slower than expected.

The Benton Harbor, Mich., company, whose brands also include KitchenAid and Maytag, lowered its full-year earnings estimate to $4.75 to $5.25 a share from its July forecast of $7.25 to $8.25, citing weaker-than-expected demand. Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff M. Fettig said “We experienced weaker than expected global industry demand and elevated material costs.”

He added, “We are beginning to see the benefits from previously announced price increases. However, our results were negatively impacted by recessionary demand levels in developed countries, a slowdown in emerging markets and high levels of inflation in material costs.”

Whirlpool has indicated that more than 5,000 jobs will be slashed mainly in North America and Europe which means a 10 percent work-force reduction in those areas. The company will close its Fort Smith, Ark., refrigeration plant by mid-2012 and consolidate its production into current North American sites, and relocate dishwasher production from Neunkirchen, Germany, to Poland in January 2012.

These moves will save an estimated $400 million a year by the end of 2013 by reducing the overall capacity by about six million units.