Standex finds the going tough in latest quarter

Standex was unable to avert a slight dip in sales of catering equipment during its latest quarter despite the business recording overall growth of 10% for the period.

Fiscal Q3 results published this afternoon reveal that sales from the company’s food service equipment group decreased 1.5% year-on-year to $86.6m (£55.7m), while operating income plummeted almost 18%.

CEO and president, Roger Fix, said a lack of spending among its core retailer base had impacted the business, including in the UK.

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“On the Cooking Solutions side of the business, demand continued to be soft in the retail grocery segment in the UK and US,” he said. “Overall, replacement business on the cooking side was soft due to sluggish consumer sales at our customers.”

In its native US, the relaunch of a new value-engineered refrigerated merchandising cabinet product line and a major customer win worth between $5m and$8m (£3.2m and £5m) in the convenience store segment was offset by “soft demand” for refrigeration sales and delayed store openings due to bad weather.

Fix said the slump in operating income, meanwhile, was down to a combination of factors.

“Operating income was down due to the deleveraging effect of the lower volume, warranty expenses at our beverage dispensing business, a higher mix of lower-margin customers and significantly higher marketing expenses than in the year-ago quarter due to our participation in the biannual NAFEM exhibition,” he explained.

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