Flat quarter for Standex’s food equipment business

Standex Food Service Equipment said it would continue to push on with its organic growth initiatives after revealing its foodservice division faced a challenging second quarter.

The NYSE-listed outfit grew overall group sales 9% to $169m (£108m) during the three months to the end of December, mainly due to revenue gains from an acquisition it made in the electronics industry, but sales of catering equipment remained flat at $96m (£61m).

In its native US market, the firm’s president and CEO, Roger Fix, said it was working to make its refrigeration business more competitive to certain parts of the retail market.

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“To enhance our competitiveness in the retail drug, dollar store and convenience store segments, we are value engineering our refrigerated merchandising cabinet product line to reduce material expenses while adding features, as well as realigning our manufacturing processes utilizing lean manufacturing techniques to lower labour costs,” he stated.

Fix also commented on the performance of the company’s overseas business during the latest quarter, noting that the company remains committed to driving relationships with major chains and distributors on both sides of the Atlantic.

“Demand further softened in the retail grocery segment in the UK as a result of the macro-economic conditions there, while we experienced lower sales to the US grocery store segment where customers are continuing to reduce capital spending,” he said.

“We have implemented staff reductions in this area given the lower expectations for volume. At the same time, we made progress in our effort to penetrate a greater number of major chains and dealers, both domestically and internationally, much like we did successfully on the refrigeration side of the business.”

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