Hefei, Anhui – Whirlpool China in January announced it is to terminate its 4m unit/year high-end energy saving refrigerator project in Hefei, Anhui province.
The company’s smart laundry machine project will benefit from CNY 182m ($29m) of capital remaining from the refrigerator project.
The refrigerator project started construction in 2014 with CNY 600m investment earmarked, and was planned to come on stream in mid 2016 as UTECH-polyurethane.com reported at the time.
The project was 61% complete at the end of 2017, said Whirlpool China’s announcement.
‘Our company has enough existing refrigerator capacity to meet the market demand,’ said the announcement. The company decided to terminate the project to ‘lower the investment risk.’
Ending the project 'will not impact the company’s operation and overall performance,’ the announcement added. ‘In 2018 the company will adjust its [refrigerator] sales strategy, utilizing Whirlpool Group’s global sales network… and focusing on overseas markets.’
Over the first nine months of 2017 Whirlpool China reported a 4% drop in revenue to CNY4.9bn. The company had CNY 57m net loss compared with CNY 242m net profit over the same period in 2016.
Refrigerators contributed to about 10% of the company’s total revenue in 2016. The business had a 15% gross margin, compared with a 38% for laundry machines.
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