Electrolux profits boosted by lockdown DIY

STOCKHOLM (AFP) – Swedish appliance giant Electrolux said yesterday it had more than doubled earnings in 2020, helped by Covid lockdown restrictions that prompted consumers to tackle home improvements.

The company registered a net profit of SEK6.6 billion (EUR647 million, USD785 million) for the full-year, up from 2.5 billion in 2019.

Electrolux also managed to reduce costs by five per cent for the year, and was boosted by strong consumer demand in the latter part of the year, a statement said.

“People are spending more time at home and less money on travel and eating out, so they have more money left over to invest in renovating their kitchens and laundry rooms and that has led to very high demand for our products,” chief executive Jonas Samuelson told Swedish Radio.

The company noted however that the year had been “highly volatile with a challenging first half followed by a significant recovery during the second half.”

Electrolux also earned SEK2.4 billion from “a settlement gain from the distribution of Electrolux Professional” that was listed on the Stockholm stock exchange as a separate company in March.

Full-year sales actually fell by 2.5 per cent to SEK116 billion, but the group’s operating margin rose by 2.3 percentage points to five per cent.

Excluding currency effects, sales grew 3.3 per cent.

For 2021, the Swedish group said visibility was “limited” due to the pandemic, but it expected demand in the first half to “exceed normal seasonal levels across our main markets”.

“Assuming that consumer spending patterns start to normalise by mid-year, we estimate that market demand will also normalise during the second half of 2021,” it said.

The Electrolux share price was up by 0.5 per cent on the Stockholm stock exchange in
mid-morning trading.