Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Whirlpool posts profit ?!?!

April 27, 2009

whr1Check out the surprise quarterly profit at Whirlpool.

The world’s biggest appliance maker, known for its namesake, Maytag and KitchenAid brands,  was aided in the unexpected good news — analysts were expecting a loss — by its cost-cutting efforts. The company has frozen salaries, reduced its contribution to retirement plans and taken other steps to save money amid the recession.

Despite the profit, sales tumbled 23 percent in the first quarter. Whirlpool also said it now expects 2009 industry unit shipments in the United States and Europe to decline more than previously expected.

Whirlpool was not the only company getting a boost from cost cutting. Energizer, which makes its namesake batteries, Schick razors and Playtex tampons, posted a higher-than-expected profit as cost cutting helped offset pressure from foreign exchange and consumers trading down to cheaper batteries.

Also in the basket:

Lorillard posts lower-than-expected profit

Jean Coutu loss widens on Rite Aid

Cartier cuts working hours as demand dwindles

Alberto Culver quarterly profit meets Wall Street view

For Retailers, What is the New Lipstick? (WWD, subscription required)

(Photo courtesy of Whirlpool Corp)

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