Manitowoc claims to have taken “decisive and corrective actions” to improve execution with its global foodservice equipment business after first quarter sales were $38m (£25m) lower than the same period a year ago.
The manufacturer of cooking and beverage equipment blamed the deficit on a fall in spending among large restaurant chains and unfavourable foreign exchange rates, while also noting that its 2014 Q1 figures benefitted from two large chain-related roll-outs that took place at the time.
Manitowoc said that foodservice sales in the first three months of 2015 reached $345m (£225m) compared with $383m (£250m) a year ago, representing a decrease of 10%.
Operating earnings fell from $58m (£38m) to $33m (£22m) over the same period, with the under-performance of its KitchenCare business impacting margins.
Manitowoc CEO, Glen Tellock, acknowledged that the decline in foodservice equipment sales had been exacerbated by both “macro and internal factors”, but said that “strong demand” for its Convotherm 4 ovens and MerryChef e2 ovens had both been bright points for the company.
He also insisted that innovation remains a “top priority”, and cited the launch of a new global refrigeration line that he claims generated considerable industry interest at the recent NAFEM trade show.
“We have taken decisive, corrective actions to improve execution within Foodservice, and continue to focus on the areas within our control to drive growth as market conditions recover,” he stated.
“Although our results for the first quarter were disappointing, we are confident in our revised full-year 2015 expectations as we anticipate improving performance moving forward, particularly in the second half of the year.”