Categorized | Business news, Employment and jobs, Unemployment

Viking Range hit with more layoffs

The parent company of Viking Range Corp. has announced a third round of layoffs at the Greenwood-based plant since 2013.

Middleby Corp. won’t say how many it is laying off this time, according to the Associated Press. VIKING_LOGO

But Middleby said in a statement that the cuts were in technical services, call centers, marketing and training. The company said the jobs would be “redeployed” from Viking’s headquarters in Greenwood to other distribution centers in the U.S. and Canada.

Middleby bought Viking at the end of 2012 for $380 million.. Layoffs in January and November of last year eliminated more than 25 percent of its workforce, mostly from Viking. It laid off 140 of Viking’s workforce in January and another 25-75 in November.

The news comes on the heels of Middleby reporting significant increases in its fourth-quarter and full-year sales and profit.Last month, the company said sales in the fourth quarter rose 29 percent to $377.4 million. Net earnings for the quarter were $49.9 million, up from $37.8 million a year earlier.

For the year, Middleby posted net earnings  of $153.9 millioin, compared to $120.7 million in 2012. Sales for the year were $1.43 billion, up 37 percent from $1.04 billion a year earlier.

The company’s Residential Kitchen Equipment Group, formed by the Viking acquisition, saw full-year sales of $231.7 million.

The cuts at Viking were hinted in Middleby’s earnings report:

Said Middleby Chairman and CEO Selim Bassoul:

At Viking, we made significant progress during the year on many fronts. We have made progress towards our profitability goals by refocusing the business and driving cost efficiencies. We realized continuing improvements in EBITDA margins throughout the year, which trended positively in the second half of 2013 and exceeded 15 percent for the full year.

“We also completed initiatives to establish our company owned sales and distribution organization through the acquisition and transition of over 10 independent Viking distributors covering the U.S. and Canada. We are in process of integrating these operations and are positioned to control and enhance critical aspects of the sales, marketing and customer support processes as we move forward into 2014.

“We are also very excited about the significant pipeline of new Viking products. This includes a complete new lineup of ranges, ovens, cooktops, built-in refrigeration and ventilation.”


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