Whirlpool's India arm misses Q4 profit view on stiff competition, higher input costs

An employee stands next to a Whirlpool washing machine inside a home appliances showroom in New Delhi

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Appliances maker Whirlpool of India reported a smaller-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Monday, hurt by stiff competition and higher input costs, while demand remained steady for its cooling appliances.

Consolidated net profit rose nearly 24% to 775.9 million rupees ($9.3 million) in the three months ended March 31, missing analysts' estimates of 899.6 million rupees, according to LSEG data.

Revenue from operations in the Indian unit of NYSE-listed Whirlpool Corp rose nearly 4% to 17.34 billion rupees.

Expenses surged 2.2%, led by a nearly 31% rise in input costs.

For further results highlights, click [here]

KEY CONTEXT

Record high temperatures in India have led to a surge in demand for cooling products like air conditioners and refrigerators, resulting in higher sales for home appliance makers such as Whirlpool India.

However, analysts said Whirlpool's Indian arm is dealing with fierce competition from new players, premium brands diversifying into mass markets and multi-brand retailers promoting private labels.

In February, parent company Whirlpool Corporation sold 24% of its stake in the India unit for about $468 million, aiming to reduce its debt.

Rival air conditioner makers Havells India and Blue Star reported a rise in quarterly profit, while Voltas missed quarterly profit estimates due to surging expenses.

PEER COMPARISON

Valuation (next 12 months) Estimates (next 12 Analysts' sentiment

months)

RIC PE EV/EBITD Price/Sale Revenue profit Mean # of Stock to Div

A s growth growth rating analyst price yield

* s target ** (%)

Whirlpool of India 63.06 31.44 2.31 7.83 59.89 HOLD 11 1.13 0.32

Blue Star 55.91 36.22 NULL 20.52 38.27 BUY 18 1.12 0.38

Havells India 68.04 45.48 5.22 14.28 27.28 HOLD 19 1.07 0.41

Voltas 53.00 39.29 2.57 15.86 150.79 HOLD 35 1.00 0.33

* Mean of analysts' ratings standardised to a scale of Strong Buy, Buy, Hold, Sell, and Strong Sell ** Ratio of the stock's last close to analysts' mean price target; a ratio above 1 means the stock is trading above the PT

JANUARY-MARCH STOCK PERFORMANCE

-- All data from LSEG

-- $1 = 83.2810 Indian rupees

(Reporting by Navamya Ganesh Acharya in Bengaluru, Additional reporting by Manvi Pant; Editing by Ravi Prakash Kumar)