FMC Technologies, the global provider of energy processing and production systems for a number of industries including the food industry, has reported solid third quarter 2002 sales of $525.4 million (€538.6m) for the group as a whole, although sales in the company's FoodTech division slipped 6 per cent.
"Third quarter 2002 results reflected continued strength in subsea systems, offset by the impact of difficult market conditions on many of our other businesses," said Joseph H. Netherland, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "In our FoodTech division, the soft US economy discouraged capital investment by our customers.
"Although these challenging business conditions have somewhat reduced our comfort level, we are maintaining our earnings expectation for the full year 2002. We anticipate earnings for 2003 to be up 10 to 15 per cent over 2002, on the strength of increased subsea sales."
FoodTech's third quarter 2002 sales of $120.4 million were down 6 per cent from $127.6 million in the 2001 period, and earnings of $7.7 million were down 25 per cent from $10.2 million in the third quarter of last year.
Sales and profits of freezing systems in Europe and Asia were up, but these increases were more than offset by weakness in sales of food processing equipment that resulted from lower economic activity and reduced capital spending in the United States. Results were somewhat positively affected by lower amortization of goodwill.
FMC said that the slowdown in US economic activity has affected the food processing business, but that despite these market conditions, management continues to expect overall 2002 full-year earnings, before non-recurring items, to increase approximately 16 per cent over 2001 earnings.
FMC Technologies designs, manufactures and services technologically sophisticated systems and products for its customers through its Energy Systems (comprising Energy Production and Energy Processing), FoodTech and Airport Systems businesses. FMC Technologies employs approximately 8,500 people at 35 manufacturing facilities in 16 countries.