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Hotpoint owner doing better in Europe but sales still flat

Whirlpool said improvements were on track in EMEA despite reporting lower sales and earnings in the region for the first three months of 2019.

Whirlpool, which sells the Hotpoint, KitchenAid and Indesit brands in Europe, reported record earnings for the group over the period, boosted by higher prices and tightening cost control in the US.

Despite continued weak demand and higher cost inflation, Whirlpool said total net earnings soared to $471 million (£362.4m) for the three months to end of March, from $94m the year before.

But in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), sales were down 6% to $1 billion and earnings before interest and tax were down a fifth, but less than the year before, when the appliance business reported losses of $27m.

Whirlpool said it expects between $200m to $250m in costs relating to tariffs and raw material inflation this year, and $100m in costs relating to restructuring.

It updated full-year expectations, saying that the company now expects 2019 earnings per share of $14 to $15.

“We delivered another strong quarter with margin expansion and record first-quarter earnings per share despite a soft demand environment in several countries,” said Marc Bitzer, chairman and chief executive of Whirlpool Corporation.

“Successful execution of price increases and sustained focus on cost discipline drove very positive results in the first quarter, and provide confidence in our ability to deliver our full-year financial goals.”

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