JBT Corporation has reported record high revenue and operating profit in its FoodTech division as part of its Q4 and full year results.
JBT FoodTech's fourth quarter revenue of $177.6m and operating profit of $23.4m were record highs, representing increases of 17% and 63%, respectively, from the same period in 2011.
Record fourth quarter sales of freezing, in-container, and fruit and juice processing equipment drove the increase in FoodTech revenue, said the firm.
FoodTech fourth quarter operating profit margin expanded to 13%. Inbound orders in the fourth quarter of $152.3m increased 24% from the same period last year, driven by demand for in-container processing, freezing and protein processing equipment.
Talking about 2012, Charlie Cannon, chairman and chief executive officer, said: "Activity levels picked up around the world as the year progressed and we closed the year with a record fourth quarter.
"We launched new products, completed a technology acquisition, grew our aftermarket revenue, opened a new plant in China to serve regional markets, and improved segment margins significantly over 2011's results.”
Revenue for the fourth quarter was a record high of $293m, an increase of 8% from the prior-year quarter, driven by record fourth quarter revenue in JBT FoodTech.
Gross profit margin of 26% reflected margin improvement initiatives executed earlier in the year.
The gross profit margin expansion drove record operating income of $28.8m, compared to $12.2m operating income, net of $10.3m in restructuring charges, in the prior-year period.
Fourth quarter inbound orders of $232.2m and backlog of $283.1m increased 12% and 15%, respectively, over the same period last year.
Higher backlog at start of 2013
Cannon said the firm started 2013 with a higher backlog relative to last year and added that current order activity remains strong.
“However, a majority of our current backlog is scheduled for delivery after the first quarter,” he added.
“We anticipate a normal seasonally weak first quarter and earnings pickup in subsequent quarters in line with our historical seasonality trends."
Full year 2012 revenue of $917.3m decreased 4% year-over-year but this was attributed to lower equipment sales, primarily in AeroTech, and unfavorable foreign currency translation.
Consolidated operating income was $60.9m, compared to $53.2m, net of $11.6m in restructuring charges, in the prior-year period.