ITW has stoked hopes of a continued market recovery after reporting a 5% rise in catering equipment sales during the first quarter of 2014.
The company said its Food Equipment division had seen a “solid” improvement in business on both sides of the Atlantic for the three months to the end of March.
“Food Equipment’s organic revenues grew 5% due to solid growth in equipment and service in North America and strong equipment sales internationally. Operating margins of 18.6% increased 190 basis points,” the company stated.
ITW owns almost dozen catering equipment businesses, including the likes of Bonnet, Foster, Hobart and Wolf.
The quarterly growth in foodservice sales was higher than the 3.3% increase in organic revenue that the company posted overall.
Total sales reached $3.6 billion (£2.1 billion) while operating income rose 16% to $667m (£397m).
“Thanks to the worldwide ITW team, we produced operating margins of nearly 19%, grew our EPS 15% and expanded adjusted after-tax ROIC to more than 17% in the quarter,” said president and CEO, Scott Santi.