Electrolux profits slide after restructuring

Electrolux, the world's biggest producer of appliances for kitchen, cleaning and outdoor use, reported on Tuesday a near halving of net profit owing to heavy restructuring costs.

Net profit dropped by 44.5 percent to 1.76 billion kronor from 3.25 billion kroner in 2004.

In 2005, Electrolux undertook major restructuring efforts which included the closure of a number of its plants in western Europe.

Without the restructuring costs, profit would have been 4.61 billion kronor, against 4.54 billion kronor.

In the fourth quarter alone, Electrolux posted a net loss of 440 million kronor, against a profit of 748 million in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Its quarterly pre-tax loss, at 237 million kronor, was still much smaller than had been expected by analysts, who had forecast a loss of 859 million kronor.

Despite the weaker results, Electrolux said it would pay a dividend of 7.50 kronor per share, against 7.00 in 2004.

It also said it would seek a separate stock market listing for its outdoor appliances, essentially for gardening, under the name of Husqvarna AB.