Electrolux blames Europe for fourth quarter loss

Electrolux blames Europe for fourth quarter loss
Swedish home appliance giant Electrolux blamed a weak European market on Friday for fourth-quarter losses that were wildly beyond analysts' expectations.
Quarterly figures showed a loss of 987 million kronor ($151 million), while analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires were expecting a loss of 621 million kronor.
A year earlier, Electrolux posted a 242-million-kronor profit.
It was the first quarter the company was in the red since 2009, with a one-percent revenue decrease to 28.89 billion kronor and restructuring charges of 1.5 billion kronor.
Last October, Electrolux announced 2,000 job cuts, with a factory closure in Australia and staff cuts in Europe.
In 2013, net profits fell by 72 percent to 672 million kronor and revenue dropped by one percent to 109.15 billion kronor.
"The challenging European market and unfavourable currency development had an adverse impact," chief executive Keith McLoughlin said in a statement.
The strength of the Swedish currency had a 442-million-kronor impact on the operating income.
McLoughlin also pointed out some positive figures from the report.
"In 2013, Electrolux delivered organic sales growth of 4.5 percent, the second consecutive year ahead of our annual target of 4 percent," he said.
"Over the past two years, growth in local currencies including acquisitions was 14 percent."
For 2014, the group expects demand to be "slightly positive, with growth in North America and Asia/Pacific partly offset by a flat market in Europe and a slow-down in Brazil from the high levels seen in 2013".

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