Commercial/residential appliance maker The Middleby Corp. had first quarter net earnings of $33,445,000, up from $25,902,000 in the first quarter of 2013. First quarter 2014 sales were $372,478,000, up from $327,451,000 in 1Q 2013. Net sales were up 13.8% from 1Q 2013. Excluding the effect of acquisitions, sales were up 8.0% in 1Q 2014.
Middleby makes commercial foodservice equipment under several brand names and makes residential kitchen appliances under the Viking brand name. The company also makes food processing equipment.
Middleby's Commercial Foodservice Equipment Group 1Q 2014 net sales were up 18.6% to $234.1 million, from 1Q 2013's $197.4 million. Excluding acquisition impacts sales were up 9.0% in the quarter.
Middleby's Residential Kitchen Equipment Group 1Q 2014 net sales were up 7.0% to $62.8 million, from $58.7 million in 1Q 2013. The group was formed after the company's late-2012 acquisition of Viking Range—Middleby's first foray into residential appliances.
Middleby's Food Processing Equipment Group 1Q 2014 net sales were up 5.9% to $75.6 million, from 1Q 2013's $71.4 million.
Middleby's 1Q 2014 gross profit increased to $143.0 million, from $121.3 million in 1Q 2013. The gross margin rate increased to 38.4%, from 37.0% in the previous year's first quarter.
The increase in the gross margin rate reflected improved margins at Viking, resulting from integration steps taken in 2013. Margin improvement was offset in part by adverse effects of Viking distribution changes finalized in the first quarter.
Middleby operating income increased 32.5% in 1Q 2014 to $55.9 million, from $42.2 million in the prior year quarter.
Chairman and CEO Selim A. Bassoul said the company saw solid growth continue in its Commercial Foodservice and Food Processing businesses.
“At Viking, during the first quarter, we completed the initiative started in 2013 to establish our company owned distribution operations through acquisition and transition of fourteen independent distributors covering the U.S., Canada, and Mexico," Bassoul said. "We are in the process of integrating these operations and are positioned to fully control and enhance critical aspects of the sales, marketing and customer support processes. The initiatives to integrate these operations are anticipated to be largely completed by the end of the second quarter."
He said the strategy would provide financial benefits in the future.
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