Company Press Release

The Middleby Corporation Reports Second Quarter Results

ELGIN, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 27, 2000--The Middleby Corporation (NASDAQ: MIDD - news), a global supplier of equipment to the foodservice industry, today reported second quarter earnings of $.06 per share on net sales of $32,375,000 as compared to $.04 per share on net sales of $36,527,000 in the prior year.

Net sales of the Company's domestic manufacturing operations were $1,771,000 or 7.1% lower than the prior year quarter as a result of comparatively lower sales to major pizza chains. International sales decreased $2,381,000 or 20.4% during the quarter due largely to lower sales on certain distributed product lines, which were discontinued in the second and third quarters of 1999.

The gross margin rate improved to 31.0% in the second quarter of 2000 as compared to 29.4% in the prior year second quarter. Gross margin continues to be favorably impacted by prior year cost reduction actions, which lowered manufacturing overhead and improved production efficiencies at the Company's U.S. manufacturing operations. Additionally, margins of the international distribution operations have improved as a result of the discontinuance of certain unprofitable product lines in the prior year. The quarter also reflects improved margins at the Company's Philippines manufacturing operation resulting from increased volume of equipment and parts manufactured for the U.S. marketplace.

Earnings before income taxes increased to $1,548,000 as compared to $1,447,000 in the prior year quarter. Net earnings were $641,000 as compared to $401,000 for the second quarter of 1999. Despite lower net sales, earnings increased as a result of the higher gross margin rate and lower operating expenses. Net financing costs were also lower than the prior year due to lower interest expense on reduced debt and increased interest income on higher cash balances.

Net earnings for the second quarter includes a tax provision in the amount of $907,000 at an effective rate of 59% as compared to a provision of $1,046,000 at a 72% effective rate in the prior year. The relatively high tax rate results from taxable earnings at the Company's operations in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America, while no benefit has been recorded related to losses incurred at certain operations within Asia. The decrease in the effective tax rate reflects the reduction in losses incurred at the Company's Asian operations. Despite the recorded tax provision, the Company currently does not pay U.S. federal taxes, other than AMT tax, due to tax loss carryforwards available from prior years.

Commenting on the Company's second quarter, David P. Riley, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, ``The second quarter in 1999 was an unusually strong sales performance and the Company's most profitable quarter in the prior year. Despite the comparatively lower sales level in the current year quarter, the Company reported improved earnings, reflecting the success of the Company's repositioning efforts over the past year. We expect sales for the second half of the year to exceed 1999 levels.''

Mr. Riley continued, ``The Cooking Systems Group, consisting of the Company's worldwide manufacturing operations again posted positive results. We have seen the initial success of the integration of our Philippines manufacturing facility into our worldwide strategy. By the end of the second quarter this operation reported breakeven results, which has not occurred since the Asian crisis hit in 1997. Additionally, the Company's gross margins benefited from the transfer of production to this low cost manufacturing operation. The results of Middleby Worldwide, the Company's international distribution operations, also continued to show significant improvement. Europe and Latin America remained strong, while our Asian operations continue to strengthen.''

Mr. Riley concluded ``We are pleased with the overall results for the second quarter and expect to see continued benefit from the operational improvements which continue to be implemented. We look forward to a solid second half of the year.''

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 Marshall®, Southbend (R), and Toastmaster (R). 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,

                       THE MIDDLEBY CORPORATION
           (Amounts in 000's, Except Per Share Information)

                               Three Months Ended     Six Months Ended
                               ------------------     ----------------
                                 July 1,  July 3,    July 1,   July 3,
                                  2000     1999       2000      1999
                                 ------   ------     ------    ------

Net sales                         $32,375 $36,527    $64,849   $68,965
Cost of sales                      22,350  25,801     43,610    48,616
                                   ------  ------     ------    ------

    Gross profit                   10,025  10,726     21,239    20,349

Selling & distribution expense      4,227   4,675      8,256     9,341
General & administrative expense    3,513   3,605      8,054     6,825
Non-recurring expense                  --     210         --       960
                                   ------  ------     ------    ------
    Income from operations          2,285   2,236      4,929     3,223

Interest expense and deferred
    Financing amortization, net       482     696        959     1,387
Other expense (income), net           255      93        541       352
                                   ------  ------     ------    ------

    Earnings before income taxes    1,548   1,447      3,429     1,484

Provision for income taxes            907   1,046      2,298     1,432
                                   ------  ------     ------    ------

    Net earnings (loss)           $   641 $   401    $ 1,131   $    52
                                  ======= =======    =======    ======

   Net earnings (loss) per share:

    Basic                         $  0.06 $  0.04    $  0.11   $  0.01
                                  ======= =======    =======   =======

    Diluted                       $  0.06 $  0.04    $  0.11   $  0.01
                                  ======= =======    =======   =======

   Weighted average number shares:

    Basic                          10,177  10,158     10,181    10,158
                                  =======  ======     ======    ======

    Diluted                        10,338  10,258     10,348    10,251
                                  =======  ======     ======    ======

                       THE MIDDLEBY CORPORATION
                          (Amounts in 000's)

                                                As of          As of
                                               July 1,         Jan 1,
                                                2000            2000
                                                ----            ----

Cash and cash equivalents                     $ 17,583        $ 14,536
Accounts receivable, net                        22,039          24,919
Inventories, net                                16,620          16,884
Other current assets                             4,238           4,039
                                               -------         -------
    Total current assets                        60,480          60,378

Property, plant and equipment, net              20,116          21,281

Excess purchase price over net
    assets acquired, net                        13,568          13,962

Other assets                                     2,149           3,427
                                               -------         -------

    Total assets                              $ 96,313        $ 99,048
                                              ========        ========


Current maturities of long-term debt          $  7,829        $  7,131
Accounts payable                                 7,723           8,861
Accrued expenses                                15,877          16,291
                                               -------         -------
    Total current liabilities                   31,429          32,283

Long-term debt                                  17,514          21,004

Other non-current liabilities                    3,110           2,593

Shareholders' equity                            44,260          43,168
                                               -------         -------

    Total liabilities and shareholders'
    equity                                    $ 96,313        $ 99,048
                                              ========        ========

     The Middleby Corporation
     David P. Riley, 847/429-7851
     David B. Baker, 847/429-7915