STOCKHOLM-Improved margins helped Electrolux to a healthy 14 percent gain in net income in its fiscal third quarter, totaling $145.8 million (after converting the company’s currency figures from Swedish krona to dollars for the quarter).
Gross margin for the quarter, which ended on Sept. 30, picked up 283 basis points to finish at 21.3 percent. The margin figure received help from gains in prices, product sales mix and sales volume, especially in North America and Latin America. Thanks to these increases, net sales overall edged up 1.1 percent to $4 billion.
“Market demand for core appliances in North America in the third quarter was slightly positive, and we expect this trend to continue to improve, supported by a gradual recovery in the housing market,” said Keith McLoughlin, Electrolux president and CEO. McLoughlin added that the company would use the positive momentum to invest more in building its brands in North America.
Selling and administrative expenses in the quarter rose 18.8 percent in dollars and 172 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 15.9 percent. Yet operating margins had a strong quarter, with five of the companies six business areas delivering an operating margin at or above Electrolux’s target of 6 percent.