Our Global Position

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Joe Liotine
EVP and President
Whirlpool North America


Q: How were you able to drive significant margin expansion in North America, despite the impact of COVID-19?

A: 2020 results represent the third consecutive year of margin expansion for the North America region. We delivered record EBIT margin of nearly 16% through the execution of our cost takeout program and disciplined execution of our go-to-market approach.

Q: What is your goal for North America in 2021?

A: Despite COVID-related supply challenges continuing into 2021, we expect to deliver sustainable, profitable growth in the region. We expect to capture demand from structurally improving consumer trends, while leveraging our fundamentally improved cost position and disciplined execution of our go-to-market strategy to drive EBIT margins of 15%—well above our long term financial goal for the region of 13%+.

João Brega
EVP and President
Whirlpool Latin America


Q: What has driven the extraordinary growth rates in LAR and now, double-digit margins in the second half of 2020?

A: We delivered organic sales(b) growth of approximately 23% in 2020. We leveraged our leading brands to capitalize on industry demand growth in Brazil and benefited from the expansion of our direct-to-consumer business. Additionally, strong cost takeout actions and positive price/mix helped offset significant currency devaluation in Brazil and Argentina. Our 2020 performance serves as a proof point of the viability of our long-term financial goals.

Q: How do you plan to continue to drive growth in 2021?

A: We expect solid top-line growth driven by continued demand strength in Brazil and sustained growth in our direct-to-consumer business. We expect to deliver strong EBIT margins of 7%+ as cost takeout and price/mix actions offset continued currency headwinds.

Gilles Morel
EVP and President
Whirlpool EMEA


Q: What were the key drivers of returning EMEA back to profitability?

A: We are very pleased to have returned the region to profitability this year, overcoming significant challenges along the way. We executed on our strategic initiatives delivering top-line growth and share gains in key countries, and continued to drive structural cost improvements in our business.

Q: How do you ensure the momentum from 2020 carries into 2021?

A: We will continue to execute on our strategic initiatives, focused on driving share gains in key countries and reducing our cost footprint. Additionally, we expect to make strong progress in our premium freestanding and built-in business through the continued launch of award-winning and innovative products. We expect this to result in EBIT margins of 2.5%+ in 2021, a year-over-year expansion of approximately 250 basis points.

Sam Wu
EVP and President
Whirlpool Asia


Q: What insights did you learn early on in the pandemic that helped to prepare the other regions for the impact of COVID-19?

A: From the onset, our primary goal was to ensure the safety of our employees, while continuing to manufacture essential products for our consumers. Our learnings related to the implementation of safety protocols and procurement of personal protective equipment helped us to be one of the first companies to restart production in China. We then leveraged these learnings to support our essential manufacturing operations around the globe.

Q: What are the top priorities for the region as we begin 2021?

A: In India, we are focused on continuing to drive share gains in a growing demand environment. In China, we are pleased with the Whirlpool brand share gains made in 2020 and look forward to sustaining that momentum in 2021. Overall, we expect to drive strong top-line growth and expand margins to 2%+.