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Third-quarter earnings up 49 percent at Whirlpool

Whirlpool reported a 49 percent rise in third-quarter earnings today, to $175 million from $117 million in the same period last year. Sales essentially were flat compared with last year at $4.84 billion.

The appliance giant’s results included a $41 million gain for asset and investment sales -- the company recorded a similar $42 million gain in last year’s third quarter. Last year’s third quarter was the first to fully reflect Whirlpool’s spring 2006 acquisition of Maytag.

Sales were hurt by the downturn in the U.S. housing market, the company said. However, the quarter also saw “strong improvement” in international business, as well as lower global taxes.

"Our global operating platform, product innovation and strong consumer brands have enabled us to effectively manage through both the unprecedented global material cost environment which began more than three years ago, and more recent industry demand declines within the United States," explained Jeff Fettig, chairman and CEO of Whirlpool.

Whirlpool’s North American division saw sales fall 8 percent, while sales in Europe increased 12 percent and sales in Latin America increased 23 percent. Whirlpool Asia saw sales increase 18 percent.

Whirlpool had sales last year of $18 billion.

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