STOCKHOLM-Electrolux began its fiscal 2012 with a healthy 17.5 percent gain in net income, to $82.7 million.
Net sales for the appliances/housewares giant totaled $3.8 billion in the quarter (using the average currency conversion rate for the quarter of the Swedish krona to the U.S. dollar), up 6.1 percent. Keith McLoughlin, Electrolux’s president and CEO, said sales benefited from strong growth throughout the world, the acquisitions of appliance makers CTI and Olympic Group, and a positive impact from price increases in North America.
Gross margin in the quarter, which ended on March 31, dropped 31 basis points to 18.7 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses edged up 1.4 percent in dollars but fell 133 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 15 percent.
McLoughlin said Electrolux expects that earnings should continue to improve through the balance of this year. He also cautioned that demand in mature markets would probably not recover in the first half of 2012.