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Middleby Posts Lower 3rd-quarter Profit

ELGIN, Ill. (AP) ¿ Middleby Corp., a maker of foodservice equipment with brands TurboChef and Toastmaster, on Tuesday said its third-quarter profit declined 4.8 percent as sales continued to be hurt by the economy.

The company earned $15.5 million, or 83 cents per share for the period ended Oct. 3, down from $16.3 million, or 96 cents per share, in the prior-year period.

Sales slipped 7.5 percent to $154 million from $166.5 million a year earlier. Revenue for Middleby's Commercial Foodservice Group and Food Processing Group both fell 19.8 percent and 19.6 percent, respectively, as sales continued to be affected by the economy.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 79 cents per share with revenue of $163.9 million.

"We anticipate that the business environment may continue to be challenging into the beginning of next year," said Selim Bassoul, chairman and CEO, in a statement. "We continue to implement measures to reduce our costs to offset lower volumes in the near term."

Middleby said it has looked to reduce supply chain costs and improve manufacturing efficiencies.

Shares added 76 cents to $46.94 in morning trading.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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