Whirlpool Is Back On Track Despite Tariffs

Tariffs have been a mixed bag for Whirlpool. But the company says it is back on track. Third quarter sales increased 1.5 percent compared to the previous year, the appliance maker said. In North America, sales rose a robust 5.3 percent.

CEO Marc Bitzer said in a statement that Whirlpool’s results demonstrated the company’s “ability to overcome the numerous external challenges we have been facing.” He cited Whirlpool’s results in North America and “a favorable tax rate.” Whirlpool also hiked its prices to compensate for tariffs.

Whirlpool’s stock jumped almost 9 percent in after-hours trading Wednesday.The home appliance company had struggled earlier this year because of President Donald Trump’s trade policies.

Initially, the company believed it would be helped by tariffs.When Trump announced in January that the United States would put a new tax on imported washing machines,, Bitzer cheered. “This is, without any doubt, a positive catalyst for Whirlpool,” he said.

Then came tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Whirlpool said in July that those taxes sent the price of raw materials way up, raising costs by USD 350 million. The company slashed its profit outlook for 2018 as a result.

“The global steel costs have risen substantially, and in particular, in the US, they have reached unexplainable levels,” Bitzer said at the time. “Uncertainty” around additional tariffs and global trade had disrupted Whirlpool’s supply chain, he added.—CNN BUSINESS

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