Whirlpool announces fourth record year for sales

Appliance giant Whirlpool saw sales growth of 13% in 2021 driven by strong consumer demand and “cost-based pricing actions”.

Sales in 2021 hit $21.99 billion (£16.4bn), up from $19.46bn in 2020. Net profits (EBIT) came in at $2.38bn, up 35% from 2020 ($1.76bn).

The corporation also reported a record full-year earnings margin of 8.1% and a record ongoing EBIT margin of 10.8%, which it said fully offset $1bn in raw materials inflation.

Looking purely at its Q4 performance, sales were flat at $5.81bn compared with $5.8bn in the same quarter of 2020, although they were up by 8% on 2019. Q4 profits (EBIT) however were down 24% from $659 million in 2020 to $502m.

In the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Q4 sales were down 0.3% to $1.41bn with profits down 50% to $20m.

The company predicts “another year of strong growth” for 2022.

Commenting on the results, chairman and chief executive Mark Bitzer said: “We delivered record results for the fourth consecutive year, demonstrating our ability to execute in any challenging environment. We expect another year of record performance, while increasing organic growth investments and returning another approximately $1.5 billion in cash to shareholders.”

Chief financial officer Jim Peters added: “In 2021, we reported double-digit revenue growth of 13%, and we expect another year of strong growth in 2022 of 5-6%. Our strong balance sheet and significant cash flow provide us the flexibility to continue to invest in profitable growth and return cash to shareholders.”

• Meanwhile, Whirlpool UK Appliances Ltd has been received the UK’s Top Employer award for the fifth year running, with a score of over 90%. The award recognised not only its efforts to provide a positive working environment but also its corporate culture based on core values such as integrity, respect, inclusion and diversity. The company was also praised for its leadership model.

Said Andrzej Tuleja, general manager for the UK and Ireland at Whirlpool UK Appliances: “We are thrilled to have been recognised as a Top Employer in the UK for the fifth consecutive year. This award acknowledges the commitment and dedication that we invest in our colleagues, as well as demonstrating the emphasis that we place upon ensuring that we provide a safe working environment that supports and nurtures our valued workforce.”

In January, Whirlpool UK Appliances also hosted the IET First Lego League Challenge tournaments in Bristol and Peterborough, encouraging young people to develop their programming, teamwork and creative abilities. The tournament was this year run virtually and teams put their robots to the test and attempted to complete as many missions as possible during the two-and-a-half minute matches.

The UK arm of Whirlpool also took part in Sue Ryder’s Treecycling campaign throughout January and saw volunteers, including eight staff from Whirlpool UK, collect real Christmas trees from homes across Peterborough for recycling. More than 500 trees were collected, raising over £7,000 for the Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, which provides palliative care and support for people living with neurological conditions.

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