Foodservice Equipment Reports

E&S Public Companies Squeak Out First-Quarter Gain

It was clearly a slow first quarter for many foodservice equipment and supplies companies. The seven publicly reporting E&S companies managed to increase combined sales only 1.8% in the first quarter of 2013 versus the first quarter last year. Four of the seven reported declines in revenues, including both Libbey Foodservice and Carlisle Foodservice on the supplies end. Overall, the slight gain is the fourth consecutive quarter with growth of less than 3%. The numbers are compiled and tracked by John Muldowney, principal at Clarity Marketing.

The results mirror those of many foodservice operators, who saw falling traffic and soft same-store sales in the quarter, as the payroll tax holiday expired and consumers worried about jobs, gas prices and the overall economy. Less benign weather in much of North America was also a factor in slowing operator sales. (See related story this issue on first-quarter chain same-store sales numbers.)

Combined sales of the five equipment-oriented companies were up 2.7%. Middleby’s overall foodservice sales jumped 10.7%; organic sales, less those of the acquisitions of Viking Range and Nieco, rose 8.6%. Manitowoc eked out a 1.9% gain and Rational North America was up 2%. Both ITW Foodservice in North America and Standex Foodservice were off slightly, with ITW down 1.3% and Standex dipping 1.5%.

Supplies purchases generally are more closely tied to operator volumes. Libbey Foodservice was off an estimated 4% (the report did not break out foodservice this quarter), while Carlisle Foodservice sales dipped 1.9%. Combined, the two companies’ revenues fell 3.2%.

One bright note in the various company reports: International sales appear to be stabilizing. Big declines in Europe and a slowing of growth in China and other Asian market, pulled overall sales down in the second and third quarters last year. Anecdotally, most E&S manufacturers tell FER Fortnightly that sale have picked up again beginning in March.

Related Articles

Public E&S Companies Posted 4.9% First Quarter Gain