Foodservice Equipment Reports

Public E&S Companies Growth Stalls In 3Q

While chain equipment and supplies purchases in the U.S. remained healthy in the third quarter, the recession in Europe once again pulled down sales at both ITW’s Food Equipment Group and Manitowoc Foodservice. As a result, combined sales for the seven publicly reporting E&S companies were flat in the third quarter 2012 compared to the same quarter last year. It’s was first quarter since the second quarter of  ‘10 that combined sales for the companies did not rise.

While ITW FEG’s equipment sales rose a strong 6% in North America thanks to chain and retail equipment gains, sales in Europe fell 8%, pulling down the overall FEG number to -4%. Manitowoc said sales of ice machines and fryers continued to gain, but noted a slowdown in sales of cooking equipment in Europe. Its revenues fell 1.3% in the quarter.

The remaining five companies reported sales increases. Middleby Corp. said foodservice equipment sales rose 5% on strong chain sales. But it also noted weakness in Europe. Standex Foodservice reported a 4.9% increase with refrigeration leading the way. The company said cooking equipment sales were soft. Rational North Americas said sales jumped 37.6% as the effects of a restructuring of its sales force took effect.

Still given the size of ITW FEG and Manitowoc, overall combined equipment sales fell 0.3% in the quarter. Equipment sales for the nine month of ’12 are up only 1.5%.

Both supplies-oriented companies reported modest gains Carlisle FoodService was up 2.1% and Libbey’s foodservice sales rose 1.7%. Combined sales rose 1.9% for the two companies. For the nine months, supplies are up 4%.