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Whirlpool sales rise slightly in U.S.

Whirlpool North America, a division of Whirlpool Corp., reported second-quarter sales of $2.5 billion, a 4% increase over its sales in the second quarter of 2011. Overall, North America unit shipments decreased approximately 2%, the company said, with its unit shipments of major appliances to the United States increasing approximately 1%.

The North America region reported operating profit of $235 million for the second quarter, ended June 30, 2012, compared with $76 million in the previous year. Strong continued margin improvements were driven by product price/mix and cost and capacity-reduction initiatives, which more than offset lower production levels and higher material costs, the company said.

Based on the current economic outlook, the company now expects full-year 2012 U.S. unit shipments to be flat to down 2%.

As a whole, Whirlpool Corp. reported second-quarter sales of $4.5 billion, compared with $4.7 billion in the corresponding period of 2011. Net earnings of $120 million were reported for the second quarter, compared with a net loss of $164 million a year ago.

“Our North America and Latin America businesses continue to perform extremely well, and we are pleased with our financial performance through the first half of the year," said Jeff Fettig, chairman and CEO of Whirlpool Corp. "Our ongoing business operating performance is well ahead of last year offsetting lower industry demand, volatile foreign currency and material inflation. We remain positive regarding our underlying business performance and are optimistic on recent U.S. housing trends exiting the second quarter.”

Based in Benton Harbor, Mich., Whirlpool is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances. The company’s brands include Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air and Amana.

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