Electrolux reports mixed earnings news

Electrolux, the world's biggest household appliances maker, reported mixed first quarter earnings news on Thursday, as a restructuring plan begins to bite.

Net profit was down 39 percent at 492 million kronor ($73.21 million), it said in a statement.

But on a like for like basis, when the costs of last year’s restructuring, which involved the closure of factories in Europe are taken out, the net profit rose by 30.5 percent

Sales in the first quarter were 24.930 billion kronor, an increase of 1.5 percent compared to the 24.553 billion in the same period a year ago, it said.

Operating profit increased 66.4 percent to 757 million against 455 million a year earlier.

“Operating income for the first quarter of 2007 confirms clearly that all business areas are on the right track. We exceeded our forecast and our income improved by about 25 percent over the same period last year. We also expanded our market shares in all regions,” Electrolux chairman Hans Stråberg said in a statement.

“We are maintaining our forecast that operating income, excluding items affecting comparability, for 2007 will be somewhat higher than in 2006, despite increased costs for raw materials and uncertainty regarding the market development in the US,” he said.

Electrolux shares opened 4.27 percent lower at 179 kronor in early deals on the Stockholm stock exchange, with the overall market 0.18 percent higher.