Foodservice Equipment Reports

Revenues For Public E&S Companies Rose 9.7% Fourth Quarter 2010, Up 4.2% For Year

Another strong quarter was posted by the publicly traded foodservice equipment and supplies companies at the end of last year. Blended sales for five equipment-oriented and two supplies-oriented companies rose at a nearly double-digit rate, 9.7%, for the fourth quarter 2010 compared with the same quarter in ’09. The strong gain compares with a 4.2% decline in the fourth quarter ’09 versus ’08.

Combined sales for the year as a whole rose 4.2%. The numbers are compiled by and provided to FER Fortnightly by Alto-Shaam.

The increase in blended sales is the third consecutive quarter of year-on-year gains, signaling the true end of the unprecedented declines in E&S sales in the North American market through’08 and ’09. The pace of gains has also increased. Blended sales for the public companies first went positive with a 4.9% rise in the second quarter ’10 after six consecutive quarters of declines. Sales moved 6.7% higher in the third quarter.

All but one of the seven companies had a positive quarter, including all five equipment-oriented companies, which were up 11.2% in total. Middleby had another strong gain, up 19%, Standex posted a 12.3% jump, Manitowoc Foodservice was up 6.8% and ITW’s entire Food Equipment Group was up 4.5% in the quarter, with estimates for Hobart Foodservice also positive. Rational North America, which had a tough fourth quarter ’09, saw sales jump 70.2%. Rational has by far the smallest base of the five equipment companies tracked, so can be more volatile.

The two supplies companies, Libbey and Carlisle, were up a combined 4.8% for the quarter, with Libbey posting an 8.6% gain and Carlisle Foodservice off slightly at -1.9%.

For the year as a whole, four of the five equipment companies were up for the year and posted an overall combined 5.7% gain. The supplies companies were off 1.3% combined for the year.

The publics again outperformed the broader E&S market as represented by the Business Barometer fielded by the Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry. The MAFSI Barometer rose 5.1% in the fourth quarter, the first positive quarter in eight quarters.