STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ Appliance maker Electrolux may face losses of up to $28 million as the result of unauthorized currency trading by an employee of its internal bank in Germany, company officials said Monday.

The employee, who worked with foreign exchange transactions but was not otherwise identified, admitted that he began unauthorized trading in currencies early last year and manipulated records to hide the transactions, according to a news release from the company.

``This is very serious, someone has managed to manipulate our systems and fool both us and our accountants,'' the Swedish news agency quoted chief executive Michael Treschow as saying.

The company, which developed the modern ice box nearly 80 years ago, is investigating whether anybody else is involved and said losses could top $28 million, TT said.

The bank in Germany is for internal purposes and has only four employees, the news agency reported.

Electrolux, which had a 1998 profit of $588 million, is the world's biggest maker of household appliances.