Commercial appliance and foodservice equipment maker The Middleby Corporation said first quarter 2011 net earnings were $17,825,000 on net sales of $182,572,000, compared to first quarter 2010 when net earnings were $13,762,000 and net sales were $160,683,000.
Excluding the impact of acquisitions, net sales increased 7.3% during the 1Q 2011. An increase of 8.8% in sales from the Commercial Foodservice Group was offset by a decrease of 2.9% in sales from the Food Processing Group.
Sales in the Commercial Foodservice Group continue to grow, reflecting growth in international markets and increasing business with major restaurant chain customers.
The Food Processing Group, which grew 56.6% in the first quarter of last year, declined slightly, reflecting the quarterly volatility associated with this business due to the timing of large orders.
Middleby's gross profit increased to $71.8 million from $63.5 million. The gross margin rate was 39.3% compared to 39.5% in the prior year quarter, reflecting the impact of increasing material costs and lower margins at newly acquired companies, offset in part by the benefit of increased sales volumes and operational improvements.
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