Electrolux sees strong growth in Q2 buoyed by N America

By MATTI HUUHTANENIndustriesAssociated Press

Strong demand from North America and Eastern Europe helped Swedish household appliance maker AB Electrolux post a big increase in second-quarter profits.

In a statement Wednesday, the world's second-largest household appliance manufacturer, said its net profit during the period jumped more than 20 percent to 1.3 billion kronor ($157 million) compared with 2016, while sales grew more than 5 percent to 31.5 billion kronor.

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A breakdown of the quarter showed that sales were up 33 percent in the U.S. and Canada — its biggest market that accounts for 37 percent of total appliance sales — while Eastern Europe saw 5 percent growth in the period.

CEO Jonas Samuelson said the strong performance in North America was helped by the company "improving the mix by focusing on our most competitive products and increasing productivity and cost efficiency."

Samuelson predicted a modest 1 percent rise in European sales this year but 3 to 4 percent in the U.S. and Canada. Britain, the Middle East and Africa continue to be weak, however.

Earlier this month Electrolux announced the acquisition of Best, a European maker of kitchen units, which Samuelson said would "enable Electrolux to further drive long-term profitable growth in the built-in-kitchen segment" in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

"The deal is expected to close within the next quarter and will be our fourth this year, highlighting our ambition to broaden Electrolux product offering and expand in new profitable markets and segments," Samuelson said.

Electrolux shares were up more than 3 percent at 291.40 kronor in early afternoon trading in Stockholm.