Mr. Bassoul continued, “Sales at our Food Processing Equipment Group in the third quarter declined in comparison to a robust 2010 due to slower orders in the first half. However, order rates increased in the third quarter as customers finalized their orders on projects that we have been developing throughout the year, and we realized double-digit growth in incoming orders as compared to the prior year third quarter. Due to the longer lead times in this business the favorable order rates did not benefit the third quarter but will be realized in future quarters. Prospects for the food processing business moving into 2012 are strong with a visible pipeline of new projects and demand for our equipment in emerging markets where the requirement for precooked and prepared foods is increasing and the need for advanced technologies is being recognized by food processors.”
Mr. Bassoul further added, “We continue to execute on our acquisition strategy of acquiring leading brands and technologies. We were pleased to have completed the acquisitions of Danfotech, Maurer-Atmos and Auto-Bake during the third quarter. Danfotech is a leading manufacturer of meat presses and defrosting equipment for the food processing industry. Maurer-Atmos is a leading manufacturer of batch and continuous ovens for the food processing industry. Auto-Bake Pty Ltd is a leading manufacturer of automated baking systems for the food processing industry. While these acquisitions were dilutive to earnings in the third quarter, we expect significant improvement resulting from our integration initiatives. With these acquisitions Middleby adds three very strong leading brands to its Food Processing Equipment Group, significantly strengthening our global platform and expanding our product portfolio.”
A conference call will be held at 9:30 a.m. Central time on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 and can be accessed by dialing (866) 551-3680 and providing conference code 17200566# 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 277578#.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.