Manitowoc feels the squeeze on margins

An increase in quarterly sales failed to mask the disappointment of a fall in operating earnings at Manitowoc as the company was left to rue an unfavourable sales mix and the absence of any new product roll-outs.

Third quarter catering equipment sales at the company increased 4% year-on-year to $471m (£292m) as a result of higher sales of hot side brands and ice/beverage equipment, as well as a positive foreign exchange rate.

However, earnings slumped almost 11% to $61.9m (£38m), resulting in the division’s operating margin declining 250 basis points to 14.8%

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Manitowoc said the year-over-year decrease in operating earnings was driven by greater sales volume in lower-margin products, higher commodity prices and the lack of any new product roll-outs.

“While we successfully achieved sales growth within our Foodservice segment, unfavourable product mix and delayed benefits from certain consolidation efforts impacted our margins,” said CEO Glen Tellock.

“However, as the quarter progressed, we saw improved efficiencies resulting from our facility consolidations, as well as encouraging customer reception and traction of new products.”

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