Operations up despite spinoff

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Household appliance maker Electrolux AB said Thursday that its net profit for the first quarter nearly halved after the spinoff of its Husqvarna outdoor unit, but that earnings from its continuing operations more than doubled.


Electrolux's net profit came in at 492 million kronor ($73.1 million), or 1.76 kronor (26 cents) per share, down from 807 million kronor, or 2.75 kronor per share a year ago.

However, when adjusted for the separated Husqvarna operations, net profit for the continued operations was up from 232 million kronor last year.

Stockholm-based Electrolux, whose brands also include Frigidaire, spun off its outdoor appliance unit Husqvarna in 2006 in a move to focus on its indoor products business.

Both Electrolux and Husqvarna's North American operations are based in Augusta.

Sales rose 1.5 percent to 24.93 billion kronor ($3.7 billion), but were weighed down by weaker exchange rates as the Swedish krona strengthened against the U.S. dollar. In comparable currencies, sales grew 7.5 percent, the company said.

The company saw its strongest growth in Latin America, where sales grew by 19 percent in Brazil, the region's largest market. Sales volumes were also up in Europe and North America, but declined in China as the company changed its business model to pull out of retail outlets that were unprofitable.