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Whirlpool Slashing 6,000 Jobs As Profit Falls

By BridgeNews Whirlpool Corp. is slashing its workforce by 10% after a slowing economy left it with profits of $67 million in the fourth quarter -- a bit more than half of what the Benton Harbor, Mich.-based appliance manufacturer earned a year earlier. The fourth-quarter profit was down from $113 million a year earlier, as revenue slipped to $2.57 billion from $2.68 billion. The 6,000 job cuts are part of a restructuring plan announced last month. The plan will result in pre-tax charges against earnings of between $300 million and $350 million. The shake-up is expected to save between $225 million and $250 million per year. The first phase of the restructuring, due to be announced in the next two weeks, will involve about 2,000 job cuts and a charge of $75 million against first-quarter earnings. In the current quarter, earnings will remain at about $1 per share, excluding the restructuring charge. For all of 2001, Whirlpool said, appliance shipments in North America will only match 2000 levels. Sales in Latin America will grow between 5% and 8%, while shipments in Europe will increase by 2%. For 2000, the company earned $367 million, down from $407 million in 1999.

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