Weak first quarter for Electrolux

Electrolux warned investors on Tuesday that first quarter income at the Swedish white goods manufacturer would be “very weak”.

“The year has started somewhat weaker than we anticipated. Our estimate is that the market declined by 10 percent in February compared to the same month in 2007,” said Electrolux CEO Hans Stråberg in a statement.

“As a consequence of the initially weak trend of the markets in North America and Europe as well as a number of negative non-recurring items, as previously announced, we expect that operating income for the first quarter of 2008 will be somewhat negative,” he continued.

Stråberg cited costs related to a restructuring the company’s European operations, increasingly expensive raw materials, and high marketing costs associated with a major product launch in the US as contributing factors to Electrolux’s lower first quarter income.

The company also affirmed it’s expectations that income for 2008 to be in-line with 2007 income.

Despite the news, shares of Electrolux trading on the Stockholm stock exchange were up 3.6 percent to 101.25 kronor ($16.73) as of 5.20pm.