The Middleby Corp. a worldwide manufacturer of kitchen equipment, said its sales increased 6 percent in the fourth quarter and 3 percent for the fiscal year over the comparative prior year periods. Sales related to recent acquisitions added 10 percent in the fourth quarter and 7 percent for the year.
The impact of foreign exchange rates on foreign sales translated into U.S. Dollars increased net sales by approximately 1.8 percent during the fourth quarter and reduced net sales by 0.5 percent during the year. Excluding the impact of acquisitions and foreign exchange, sales decreased 5.7 percent during the fourth quarter and 3.6 percent for the full year.
The Elgin company said its net earnings for the fourth quarter were $75 million or $1.35 per share on net sales of $632 million as compared to the prior year fourth quarter net earnings of $80.9 million or $1.41 per share on net sales of $596 million.
"At the Commercial Foodservice Equipment Group, we realized a modest sales increase in the general market, which was more than offset by lower sales to our major restaurant chain customers," said CEO Selim A. Bassoul. "Sales to our major restaurant chain customers remained impacted in the quarter as replacement purchases were less than prior years as customers evaluated new equipment solutions, supporting operational improvements and new menu initiatives," he said.
Bassoul added that, "At our Residential Kitchen Equipment Group, the fourth quarter sales decline reflects the impact of lower revenues at the AGA Group due to acquisition integration initiatives and reorganization of noncore businesses within the AGA portfolio. We have remained focused on simplifying those businesses and reducing costs, which have resulted in significant improvements in profitability. Sales at Viking also continued to be lower in the fourth quarter reflecting the lingering impact of the product recall and legacy service and quality issues, however we have seen improvement in order trends and the favorable impact of leveraging the investments made in the past several years in company owned distribution and service.