Kitchen upgrades lead to Middleby taking more orders

Middleby UK showroom 1

Solid equipment bookings from clients in emerging markets and a healthy appetite for kitchen upgrades among existing overseas clients helped lift Middleby’s sales during the fourth quarter, the company revealed this week.

The US manufacturer, which owns brands such as Britannia, Pitco and UK-based Lincat, saw sales increase 12% to $597m (£486m) during the period.

Sales related to recent acquisitions added 10% in Q4, offset by the impact of foreign exchange rates on foreign sales translated into US dollars, which reduced net sales by approximately 4%.

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Middleby’s Commercial Foodservice Equipment Group, which comprises the heavy duty equipment brands that it owns, enjoyed 20% sales growth in the quarter, but just 5% without the impact of acquisitions, Middleby bought ice machine maker Follett during the period.

CEO Selim Bassoul was particularly buoyed by the division’s performance outside its home market.

“We continued to realise strong sales growth in the international markets with restaurant customers expanding in emerging markets and existing customers upgrading to more advanced equipment solutions,” he said.

“Domestically, sales improved from the third quarter but were still impacted by slower purchases from several restaurant chains in comparison to the prior year. We continue to see positive momentum at our Commercial Foodservice segment as we move into 2017 with growth from new products and strong development activity with our restaurant chain customers adopting our innovative equipment solutions.”

Total gross profit in the fourth quarter increased to $239m (£194m) from $199m (£162m) the year before, reflecting the impact of higher sales volumes, offset by the impact of foreign exchange rates. Net earnings rose from $50m (£41m) to $81m (£66m) year-on-year.

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