The Middleby Corporation, a manufacturer of restaurant and foodservice cooking appliances, reported record results for the first quarter ended April 3, 2004. Net earnings were U.S. $5.591 million or $0.56 per share on net sales of $60.732 million for the first quarter of 2004 as compared to the prior year first-quarter net earnings of $2.609 million or $0.28 per share on net sales of $54.767 million.
The appliance maker reported the following financial highlights:
Net sales were up 10.9 percent in the first quarter, reflecting favorable impact of new product introductions and general improvement in industry conditions.
Gross margin rate was 38.2 percent for the quarter as compared to 34.8 percent in the prior year first quarter and 36.5 percent for the 2003 full year.
Operating income margins of 16.6 percent for the first quarter improved from 11.7 percent in the prior-year first quarter and 14.9 percent for the 2003 full-year.
Total debt reduced to $53.65 million for the quarter ended April 3, 2004 from $56.5 million at the end of 2003
"We are pleased with the strong start for 2004," Selim A. Bassoul, president and CEO, said in a statement. "Sales growth accelerated in the first quarter building upon the momentum from 2003. The sales in the first quarter reflect the impact of new product introductions and the continued expansion of business in international markets. Industry conditions also have improved which has benefited the overall growth rate and resulted in a very strong first quarter."
William F. Whitman, Jr., chairman of the Board, added: "We are pleased with the margin improvements reported in the first quarter. This improvement not only reflects the leverage benefits of the increase in sales volumes, but also continued improvements in manufacturing efficiencies."
Mr. Bassoul also commented that the late in the first quarter, the company introduced a full line of steam equipment under the Blodgett(R) brand -- a new segment of the market for Middleby. "We are excited about the long-term prospects for this new product line, as well as the pipeline of other patented and innovative products that we have in development focused on speed of cooking and energy savings," he said.
to Daily News