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September 27, 2004

Electrolux hit by high steel prices

STOCKHOLM

Electrolux AB, the world’s biggest maker of home appliances, warned last week that its profit expectations for the rest of 2004 would be less than previously expected because of a rise in steel prices.

The Stockholm-based company, whose brands include Frigidaire, Electrolux and Weed Eater, has been under intense pressure from its competitors, including Maytag Corp. and Asian rivals offering products at cheaper prices, forcing it to cut its costs and shift production out of the United States and other countries to lower-cost markets in eastern Europe and Latin America.

The company said its operating income will likely be down by 500 million kronor ($67.6 million U.S.) because of higher costs for steel and other materials. Costs for materials and components are estimated to be up by 1.2 billion kronor ($162.4 million U.S.) in the June-December period.

The Associated Press

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