Benton Harbor, Michigan - Appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. had first-quarter net earnings of $92 million, compared to net earnings of $169 million, during the same period last year.
Whirlpool says the primary driver of this drop in earnings is lower tax credits in Brazil and the US.
Sales in Q1 2012 were $4.3 billion, compared to $4.4 billion in Q1 2011, driven by weaker appliance demand, unfavourable currency and lower monetisation of tax credits.
First-quarter operating profit at Whirlpool totaled $205 million compared with $228 million in 2011, primarily driven by the factors above as well as higher material costs and increased restructuring expense.
On an adjusted basis, Whirpool's Q1 operating profit totaled $232 million and was up significantly from the $163 million reported in 2011.
The company said continued improvement in product price/mix, cost and capacity-reduction initiatives and ongoing productivity positively affected results during the quarter.
Whirlpool said strong profitability improvement in North America and Latin America "was partially offset by weak economic conditions in Europe."