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Chasing DOJ Deal, Electrolux Lifts Sales, Profits

Electrolux posts a significant operating profit jump while still trying to scoop up General Electric's appliance business — a deal the Department of Justice has said it would sue to block.

STOCKHOLM — Swedish appliances manufacturer Electrolux posted higher-than-expected third-quarter operating profit on Friday, thanks to strong North American and European sales propelled by currency movements.

Operating profit rose by 8.1% to 1.5 billion kronor euros ($176.35 million), the company said in a statement. Analysts polled by Bloomberg had forecast nearer 1.2 billion kronor ($141.08 million).

Major appliance sales for the period soared 43% in North America and came in 25% ahead for Europe, the Mideast and Africa, together worth around 65% of global sales, while performance was weaker in Brazil and China.

A raft of exceptional items brought a net loss of 229 million kronor ($26.92 million) down from 2.1 billion kronor ($246.89 million) a year earlier. Overall sales for the quarter were 31.26 billion kronor ($3.68 billion), up from 28.78 billion year-on-year ($3.38 billion).

Electrolux is seeking to snap up General Electric’s appliance business for some $3.3 billion, which would lift it into the orbit of market leader Whirlpool. It needs approval from the U.S.  Department of Justice, which must lay aside concerns that a deal would create a duopoly and hand Electrolux a U.S. market share of some 40%.

The DOJ said in July that it would sue to block the deal with the case due to be heard from November 9.

“We continue to explore the possibility of a reasonable settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the pending acquisition of GE Appliances,” Electrolux director general Keith McLoughlin said. “We are confident of the merits of our case.”

Shares in Electrolux were up 0.7% in early afternoon trading in Stockholm.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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