Whirlpool Corp reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday as cost cuts offset weak sales, and the world's biggest appliance maker raised its full-year forecast.
The maker of Maytag and KitchenAid appliances said net income fell to $87 million, or $1.15 a share, in the third quarter from $163 million, or $2.15 a share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 77 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales at the Benton Harbor, Michigan-based company fell 8 percent to $4.5 billion.
Sales at appliance makers like Whirlpool and Sweden's Electrolux have suffered in the global economic slowdown as consumers curbed their inclination to buy goods they see as not essential.
Whirlpool, whose other brands include Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul and Bauknechtand, has seen consumers continue to delay replacement purchases, even for appliances that are beyond repair. And some customers have traded down to lower-priced brands from competitors.
Whirlpool has resorted to aggressive cost-cutting as it waits for demand to pick up.
In late August, Whirlpool announced plans to shut a plant in Evansville, Indiana, and shift some production to Mexico next year, moves that will eliminate about 1.6 percent of its workforce.
The company has already consolidated its Chinese operations, reduced its contribution to retirement plans, frozen salaries, closed other plants and cut capital spending to reduce costs.
For all of 2009, Whirlpool expects earnings of about $4.25 a share, up from its prior outlook of $3.50 to $4.00.
(Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)