Mr. Bassoul continued, “Sales and orders at our Food Processing Group slowed in the first quarter as growth rates have moderated from a stronger 2010 which included a rebound of capital spending as a number of projects had been deferred in 2008 and 2009. While orders have slowed in the first half, customer inquiries and quoting activity remains strong and we see increasing demand for new equipment in emerging markets. We also continue to remain excited about sales opportunities for the new products developed and introduced over the past eighteen months.”
Mr. Bassoul concluded, “We continue to execute on our acquisition strategy of acquiring leading brands and technologies. We were pleased to recently announce acquisitions of the Lincat Group PLC and Beech Ovens. Lincat Group PLC is a leading manufacturer in the UK of ranges, ovens and counterline cooking equipment under the Lincat brand name and kitchen processing equipment under the IMC brand name. This acquisition is anticipated to be completed later in the second quarter. Beech, which was acquired in April, is a leading manufacturer of hearth stone ovens with a strong presence in the emerging markets. With these acquisitions, Middleby adds three very strong leading brands to its portfolio of brands and further extends Middleby’s global presence.”
A conference call will be held at 10:00 a.m. Central time on Thursday, May 12 and can be accessed by dialing (866) 551-3680 and providing conference code 9229689# or through the investor relations section of The Middleby Corporation website at www.middleby.com. An audio replay of the call will be available approximately one half hour after its completion and can be accessed by calling (866) 551-4520 and providing code 272695#.Statements in this press release or otherwise attributable to the Company regarding the Company's business which are not historical fact are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company cautions investors that such statements are estimates of future performance and are highly dependent upon a variety of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. Such factors include variability in financing costs; quarterly variations in operating results; dependence on key customers; international exposure; foreign exchange and political risks affecting international sales; changing market conditions; the impact of competitive products and pricing; the timely development and market acceptance of the Company's products; the availability and cost of raw materials; and other risks detailed herein and from time-to-time in the Company's SEC filings.