THE MIDDLEBY CORPORATION REPORTS
FIRST QUARTER RESULTS

Elgin, IL, May 8, 2001 - The Middleby Corporation (NASDAQ: MIDD), a global supplier of equipment to the foodservice industry, today reported net earnings of $.06 per share on net sales of $24,747,000 for the fiscal first quarter ended March 31, 2001 as compared to net earnings of $.05 per share on sales of $32,474,000 in the first quarter of 2000.

Net sales decreased by $7,727,000 or 24% as compared to the first quarter of the prior year.  Sales were impacted significantly by the slowdown in the U.S. and international economies.  Additionally, certain major restaurant chain customers temporarily slowed their rate of store openings and purchases of equipment.  The gross margin rate decreased to 33.0% in the first quarter of 2001 as compared to 34.5% in the prior year quarter due to the net sales decline resulting in lower production efficiencies.

Operating expenses decreased by $2,236,000 or 26% as compared to the first quarter of 2000.  The reduction in expenses reflects a combination of savings from a lower cost structure resulting from prior year restructuring efforts, tightened controls on discretionary spending implemented during the slowdown, and lower variable expenses related to sales such as commissions and incentive compensation.

Net earnings for the quarter amounted to $549,000 or $.06 per share as compared to $490,000 or $.05 per share last year.  The increase in net earnings reflects lower operating expenses, interest costs, and tax expense which offset the impact of lower net sales and gross margin.

Commenting on the company’s performance for the first quarter, Selim A. Bassoul, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “The slowdown in the world economies and growth rates of some of our larger customers had a major impact on first quarter sales.  We expect these factors to also impact the second quarter, however, we are cautiously optimistic that sales levels will rebound in the second half of the year.  To combat the business slowdown we have embarked upon several programs targeted to stimulate sales.  For example, we are focusing on the introduction of energy savings products to address the rising costs of natural gas and enable our customers to reduce their monthly restaurant operating costs.  Additionally, we are in the process of introducing several new financing programs structured to make the purchase of our equipment and the initial costs of a restaurant opening more affordable to our customers.  We expect these programs will have a favorable impact on sales and enable us to gain market share.”

Mr. Bassoul continued “Although we are disappointed with the first quarter sales, we are pleased that we were able to exceed net earnings as compared to the first quarter of last year.  Our repositioning efforts that have taken place over the past two years have resulted in a much lower cost structure that has allowed us to maintain earnings on a lower volume of sales.  As sales return to higher levels this will be reflected in increased earnings and improved shareholder returns.”

Statements in this press release or otherwise attributable to the company regarding the company’s business which are not historical fact are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  The company cautions investors that such statements are estimates of future performance and are highly dependent upon a variety of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements.  Such factors include, but are not limited to, quarterly variations in operating results; dependence on key customers; international exposure; foreign exchange and political risks affecting international sales; changing market conditions; the impact of competitive products and pricing; the timely development and market acceptance of the company’s products; the availability and cost of raw materials; and other risks detailed herein and from time-to-time in the company’s SEC filings, including those discussed under the heading entitled “Risk Factors” in the company’s Registration Statement on Form S-2 (No. 333-35397) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Middleby Corporation is a leader in the design, manufacture, marketing and service of a broad line of equipment used for cooking and preparation of food in commercial and institutional kitchens and restaurants throughout the world.  The company’s leading equipment brands include Middleby Marshallâ, Southbend â, and Toastmaster â.  Middleby’s international subsidiary, Middleby Worldwide, is a leading exporter and distributor of foodservice equipment in the global marketplace and its international fabrication subsidiary, Middleby Philippines Corporation, is a leading supplier of specialty equipment in the Asian markets.

For further information about Middleby, visit the company’s World Wide Web site, http://www.middleby.com

Contact:         Selim A. Bassoul, Chief Executive Officer – 847- 429-7788
                        David B. Baker, Chief Financial Officer – 847- 429-7915

THE MIDDLEBY CORPORATION
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
(Amounts in 000’s, Except Per Share Information)
 

                        Three Months Ended

                                                

 1st Qtr, 2001

1st Qtr, 2000

Net sales

$   24,747

$   32,474

  
Cost of sales

    16,576

     21,260

 

 

 

    Gross profit

 8,171

 11,214

 

 

 

Selling & distribution expense   

    3,617

    4,029

  
General & administrative expense

      2,717

       4,541

 

 

 

    Income from operations

    1,837

    2,644

 

 

 

Interest expense and deferred          

 

 

    financing amortization, net

  155

   477

  
Other expense (income), net

         198

          286

  

 

 

    Earnings before income taxes

1,484

1,881

  

 

 

Provision for income taxes

         935

       1,391

 

 

 

Net earnings

$        549

$        490

 

 

 

Net earnings per share:

 

 

 

 

 

    Basic

$       0.06

$       0.05

 

 

 

    Diluted

$       0.06

$       0.05

 

Weighted average number shares:

 

 

 

 

 

    Basic

       8,996

     10,184

   

 

    Diluted

       9,036

     10,350

 THE MIDDLEBY CORPORATION
CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS
(Amounts in 000’s)

 

 As of 1st Qtr

 

As of Year Ended

 

 

2001

 

2000

 

 ASSETS

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

$      2,328

 

$      2,094

 

  
Accounts receivable, net

    16,758

 

    18,879

 

  
Inventories, net

19,108

 

18,372

 

  
Other current assets

        5,344

 

      5,117

 

  
    Total current assets

43,538

 

44,462

 

 

 

 

 

 

Property, plant and equipment, net

18,528

 

18,968

 

  

 

 

 

 

Excess purchase price over net

 

 

 

 

    assets acquired, net

12,830

 

13,056

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other assets

        1,341

 

        1,824

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Total assets

$    76,237

 

$    78,310

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current maturities of long-term debt

$           11

 

$          249

 

  
Accounts payable

4,964

 

7,211

 

  

Accrued expenses

     12,967

 

       17,918

 

  
    Total current liabilities

17,942

 

25,378

 

   

 

 

 

 

Long-term debt

13,081

 

8,290

 

  

 

 

 

 

Other non-current liabilities

7,308

 

7,181

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shareholders’ equity

      37,906

 

       37,461

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Total liabilities and shareholders’

 

 

 

 

        equity

$    76,237

 

$     78,310