Electrolux Beats Expectations

World's second biggest white goods maker is upbeat for rest of 2010.

Swedish appliance maker Electrolux on April 27 topped analyst profit forecasts for the first quarter of 2010 and said it was upbeat for this year as its main markets recovered.

The world's second biggest white goods maker behind Whirlpool, Electrolux said its net profit for the January-March period was 911 million Swedish Kronor (US$127 million), more than reversing a year-earlier loss of 346 million kronor.

Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a net profit of 609 million kronor.

"Electrolux's main markets showed solid recoveries during the first quarter of 2010," the company said, with North America up for a second consecutive quarter and Europe steady after ten quarters of decline.

As for outlook, the maker of refrigerators, dishwashers and vacuum cleaners said "market demand for appliances in the group's main markets is expected to continue to grow throughout the rest of 2010."

Electrolux's sales slipped to 25.13 billion kronor from 25.82 billion kronor in the first quarter of 2009.

The company said, however, that sales volumes had grown, led by North America, but that changes in exchange rates dragged down the sales figure.

In a separate statement, chief executive Hans Straaberg warned that prices of certain raw materials continued to rise. "When the global economy picks up the pace, we expect even higher raw-material prices," he said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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