Mr. Bassoul continued, “We also continue to realize strong sales at our Food Processing Equipment Group in the second half of the year, reflecting continued demand from food processors looking to expand and modernize existing plant operations and new customers developing processing operations internationally due to increasing demand for pre-cooked and processed foods in developing markets.”
“During the year we continued to introduce new and innovative products in both our Commercial Foodservice and Food Processing Equipment businesses. We continue to grow our portfolio of technologies designed to reduce energy usage and operating costs, as well as decrease labor costs through automation. We believe future labor costs will continue to escalate across all segments and our labor-saving, automated equipment will address these costs. These products also increase cooking speeds and capacity while improving food quality. We believe we are well positioned in both industry segments as customers continue to adopt our new technologies as they strive to improve the efficiency of their operations.”
Mr. Bassoul further added, “During the year we also made investments to further strengthen our well established international infrastructure supporting both the Commercial Foodservice Group and the Food Processing Group. We are leveraging this international infrastructure across the two business platforms as we continue to further develop our sales and service organizations. In 2012, this included significant investment in our capabilities in markets such as Australia, Brazil, India and the Middle East. We believe our leading portfolio of brands and technologies, supported by our international capabilities positions Middleby to grow with our customers as they expand their businesses globally.”
“In the past year, we also continued to execute on our acquisition strategy, adding to our portfolio of leading brands and technologies at the Commercial Foodservice Equipment Group and the Food Processing Equipment Group, and further expanding into a third platform with the acquisition Viking Range Corporation, which established our Residential Kitchen Equipment Group,” Bassoul continued.