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A Message from Marc Bitzer Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer

As I reflect upon our company during this past year, I would characterize our business performance as solid — given the challenging industry dynamics — and at the same time I feel proud of the progress of our portfolio transformation and advancing our strategic imperatives.

Our business performance demonstrated a healthy momentum throughout the first half of 2023, stabilized in Q3 and was slightly below our expectations in Q4. Obviously, the macroeconomic environment was challenging once again. While the inflationary pressure subsided, the interest/mortgage rate shock essentially froze the housing market and led to the worst existing home sales in almost three decades. In a business which is highly dependent on existing home sales for discretionary demand, we are not immune to these shocks. Despite this, we still managed to deliver ongoing EBIT(a) margin levels of 6.1% which translated into ongoing Earnings per Share(a) of $16.16. This is below the ~6.9% of ongoing EBIT margin and $19.64 ongoing EPS in 2022 and missed our full-year expectations. Even though we are not satisfied with these EBIT margins, this still puts us well ahead of almost all of our industry peers.

The progress with our Strategic Imperatives has continued and even accelerated, yet we are far from having “completed” our strategic transformation journey.

  • We launched a new strategic imperative, “Inspire Generations With Our Brands,” to fully leverage the strength and opportunities of our unique brand portfolio.
  • Our product leadership score continued improving as part of the “Win With Product Leadership” imperative.
  • The new capabilities created in our “Grow Our Consumer Direct” imperative enabled a respectable >10% year-over-year D2C growth.
  • Finally, our “Build a Competitive and Resilient Supply Chain” imperative supported our goal of achieving $200 million in logistics cost take out, while our conversion cost productivity fell somewhat short of target.

I want to thank all of our 59,000 employees around the world for relentlessly working to improve life at home for our millions of loyal consumers.”

Marc Bitzer
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer

We did make relevant progress in our Portfolio Transformation:

A portfolio transformation of the magnitude we have been embarking upon is by definition a multi-year process. What started with the divestiture of our Embraco compressor business, the sale of the majority of our China business, and the announcement of our Europe transaction is reshaping our company in profound ways. In 2023, we completed the successful integration of InSinkErator into our North America business; this is approximately a 20% margin business. Furthermore, in January 2023, we announced our agreement with Arcelik to contribute our MDA business, with continued 25% ownership in a newly formed European appliance business and a long-term licensing of our Whirlpool brand. We received unconditional approval of the deal from the European Commission in October of this year and received provisional clearance but are waiting final Phase 2 results from the UK Competition and Markets Authority by the end of Q1/2024. With this portfolio transformation underway, we are indeed starting to see the beginning of a very different Whirlpool. This Whirlpool is focused on high-margin and high-growth businesses: our Major Domestic Appliance businesses in North America, Latin America, India/Pacific and our Small Domestic Appliance business.

~20% margin business added with 2023 integration of InSinkErator into our North America business

Lastly, I am particularly proud of all the external recognition we received (beyond the steady improvement of our ESG scores), receiving Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” for the thirteenth consecutive year and the continued placement in the top 40 in Drucker/WSJ’s “Best Managed Companies” list.

As we look forward into the year 2024, we are starting to see a more favorable macro environment: the inflationary cost pressures have somewhat eased, and the prospect of lower mortgage rates will be a catalyst to unlock the U.S. housing market. While it may take well into the second half of 2024 to see significantly higher existing home sales and new home completions, we would consider this the beginning of a favorable multi-year housing cycle.

The last few years have taught us to always be prepared for external surprises, and we are therefore operationally focused on managing our cost tightly and expanding our operating margins. At the same time our capital allocation priorities are clear — beyond funding our business, our preeminent focus is on maintaining our strong dividends and paying down approximately $500 million of acquisition-related debt.

In closing, let me take this opportunity to thank you, our shareholders, for your continued trust in us. I also want to thank all our 59,000 employees around the world for relentlessly working to improve life at home for our millions of loyal consumers.


Marc Bitzer
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer