UPDATE 1-Strong Americas sales drive Whirlpool profit up 48 pct

Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:46am EST

Jan 30 (Reuters) - Whirlpool Corp said on Thursday its quarterly profit jumped 48 percent due to strong sales gains in North and South America, and indicated its 2014 earnings would be broadly inline with analysts' forecasts.

The world's largest maker of home appliances reported a fourth-quarter net profit of $181 million, or $2.26 a share, up from $122 million, or $1.52 a share, a year earlier.

Sales at the maker of Whirlpool, Maytag and KitchenAid appliances rose 6.2 percent to $5.1 billion.

It said sales rose in every region during the quarter except Asia, where they dropped 7 percent, driven lower by a sharp slowdown in demand in India.

Sales were up 9 percent in North America, 8 percent in Latin America and 1 percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Looking forward, Whirlpool said it expects to report full-year earnings excluding special items in a range of $12.00 to $12.50 a share.

Going into Thursday's report, analysts were expecting the company to report full-year earnings excluding special items of $12.26 a share, according to Thomson Reuters estimates.

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