The Middleby Corporation, a leading manufacturer of restaurant and foodservice cooking equipment, reported record net earnings of U.S. $5,651,000 or $0.59 per share on net sales of $59,254,000 for the third quarter ended Sept. 27, 2003 compared with net earnings of $4,337,000 or $0.47 per share on net sales of $57,679,000 in the prior year third quarter. Earnings for the 9 months ended Sept. 27, 2003 were $12,857,000 or $1.37 per share on sales of $177,616,000 as compared to net earnings of $8,191,000 or $0.90 per share on net sales of $174,648,000 in the prior year 9 months.
The company said that net sales in the third quarter increased by 2.7 percent over net sales of the prior year quarter. The increase in net sales reflects growth in international markets driven by restaurant openings of major foodservice chains and the success of new product introductions. Gross profit in the third quarter of 2003 was $22,633,000 as compared to $20,464,000 in the third quarter of the prior year.
Commenting on the company's performance for the quarter, Selim A. Bassoul, president and CEO, said, "We are pleased with the third quarter performance. The results of the third quarter demonstrate continuing gains in operating efficiencies and an improvement in gross margins resulting from efforts to direct our sales focus on high margin products. We will continue efforts to increase margins through material cost reduction programs and product standardization initiatives. We continue to invest heavily on the development of innovative products focused on energy savings, labor savings and increased speed of cooking. During the third quarter we successfully introduced the Southbend Platinum Series of heavy duty sectional ranges, broilers and griddles at the National Association of Food Equipment Manufactuers (NAFEM) industry trade show. We are also excited about the existing pipeline of products in development that we anticipate to introduce over the next 12 months."
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