TurboChef Technologies, Inc. (Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.) reported total revenue of U.S. $11.8 million, for an increase of 10 percent sequentially.
The company continues benefiting from its relationship with sandwich restaurant chain Subway, which purchased 23,000 ovens from TurboChef. Approximately $7.1 million of total revenue in the quarter was from customers other than Subway restaurants, an increase of 27 percent sequentially. This represents approximately 60 percent of TurboChef's third quarter revenue versus 40 percent for the 9 months ended September 30, 2005. The company expects the trend to continue as its commercial customer base expands.
Subway's success with its toasted sandwich menu caused TurboChef some headaches. On the one hand, sales of its Tornado oven have been better-than-expected. But the higher level of use of the ovens led to an unexpected increase in warranty claims for the Subway installed base.
TurboChef says its engineers have now determined that a change in the control software will improve the longevity and reliability of the ovens. The changes were made to the production line and it is upgrading the software in the installed base of ovens, including replacing parts that were damaged or believed likely to lead to warranty claims. While this effort initially helped the company avoid some higher cost of addressing the issue through warranty repairs after a failure, there was a significant acceleration of claims related to the issue in the third quarter. As of November 1, 2005, TurboChef has upgraded all but about 5,500 of the installed base of Tornado ovens and estimates that substantially all the ovens will be upgraded by the end of the year.
A Residential Oven in 2006
TurboChef says it continues to advance toward its goal of introducing a revolutionary residential oven in 2006. In November 2005 it plans to unveil an operational residential prototype and hold a cooking demonstration at its Dallas facilities.
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