The fact that 2020 was an exceptional year is clearly evident in the quarterly and annual earning figures from Swedish household appliance giant Electrolux (Stockholm; www.electrolux.com
). In a four-year comparison, Q2 2020 proved the weakest in terms of sales for the worlds second-largest kitchen appliances group, which reported turnover of SEK 23.5 bn (EUR 2.33 bn) in the three-month period. Q4 2020 was then the strongest in terms of sales SEK 33.9 bn and profit for the company, which is part of the Swedish Wallenberg family group. Sales in 2020 totalled SEK 115.7 bn, 2.8% less than in 2019. EBIT at the company, which uses polypropylene, PBT, ABS and polycarbonate, grew 80% in Q4 versus the year-earlier period. Whole-year EBIT increased 27.5% from 2019 to SEK 5.8 bn.
The upward and downward movements in 2020 illustrated the extreme fluctuations in the kitchen appliance business. The coronavirus pandemic made its most significant impact in Q2 2020 with a 20% drop from the year-earlier period. By Q3, construction activity had already begun to pick up, with a global renovation boom during the pandemic pushing sales up 5% over the previous year. A record-breaking Q4 2020 exceeded the strong result in the year-earlier period by 6%.
The second half of 2020 saw a major increase in consumer spending by customers of high-quality kitchen elements in Europe. Sales to private customers also grew more strongly than those to corporate buyers, the company said. Europe remains the suppliers most important market, with quarterly sales up 4.3% to SEK 14 bn and EBIT up 16% to SEK 1.3 bn.
In the US, the market developed in parallel to business in Europe, Electrolux noted. Record-breaking Q4 sales of SEK 10 bn marked an increase of 17.9% over the previous year. Following a loss of SEK 519m in the 2019 period, EBIT was a profit of SEK 697m.
In Latin America, Q4 sales fell 7.2% to SEK 5.5 bn. EBIT, by contrast, rose 24.6% over the previous year to SEK 424m. Strong demand in Australia lifted sales 4.5% year-on-year in the Asia-Pacific region to SEK 4.2 bn; EBIT rose 20% to SEK 376m.
While the Swedish firm said it is expecting the economic situation in Asia and North America to remain stable and demand to continue rising in 2021, the outlook for the European market is rather subdued.