Maytag touts its ‘faster, leaner’ organization

Maytag touts its ‘faster, leaner’ organization
 
Date March 07, 2005
Section(s) Local News
Brief  
 
ORLANDO, Fla.– Maytag Corporation today reaffirmed its business strategies and guidance during the 26th annual Raymond James Institutional Investors Conference in Orlando, Fla., saying that Maytag is a much different company than it was a year ago.

Chairman and CEO Ralph F. Hake commented, “We are realizing the cost savings from our restructuring. We remain focused on developing preferred brands, creating innovative products and achieving best-in-class cost and quality.”

Hake said that the One Company initiative executed in 2004 has transformed the organization into a faster, leaner and more unified Maytag.

“We’re customer-focused and more responsive,” he explained. “We are a flatter organization with fewer layers. We’re shortening the decision-making process and are reducing our time to market.”

The company demonstrated its commitment to product innovation by citing the numerous launches in the first quarter of 2005, including:

* New Maytag Neptune front-loading washers and dryers

* Jenn-Air floating glass appliance suite

* Hoover FloorMate hard surface floor cleaner

* Hoover SteamVac Duo cleaner

Maytag continues to look beyond North America as the company expands global sourcing opportunities.

“Our design center in China will supplement existing R &D resources, while we further develop our product supply partnerships with Asian companies,” Hake said.

At the conference, Maytag executives reaffirmed plans to achieve improved earnings in 2005, expected by the company to be in the range of $1.10 to $1.30 per share, including about 5 cents of restructuring charges.

Hake told analysts that Maytag has already realized $30 million in cost savings and is on track to achieve $150 million in annual savings from restructuring.

“In addition to reducing the size of our salaried workforce, we have successfully completed the conversion of our computer systems and integrated our sales and marketing teams,” he added.

Two Maytag businesses continue to grow at double-digit rates. Maytag International grew 13 percent in 2004 and is expanding its product line up, entering new markets and adding Maytag Stores in Canada and Mexico. Another bright spot is Maytag Services with 27 percent growth in 2004.

George Moore, Maytag‘s executive vice president and chief financial officer, said aggressive cost-saving initiatives and appliance pricing increases are expected to offset steel and fuel cost increases, which continue to pressure profitability. He expects material costs to be an on-going challenge in 2005.

In addition to the Raymond James conference, Maytag will take part in Smith Barney’s 18th annual Global Industrial Manufacturing Conference in New York City on Wednesday. On Thursday, Maytag will participate in the JP Morgan Small Cap Conference in Chicago.

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