Rational AG (RAA), the biggest maker of automated cookers for professional kitchens, said sales reached a record last year, beating analyst estimates, as the company promoted a new generation of cookers.
Sales rose 12 percent to 392 million euros ($497 million), according to preliminary numbers the Landsberg am Lech, Germany- based company reported in a statement today. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected revenue of 390 million euros.
Sales growth was also about 12 percent in the fourth quarter, even though earnings before interest and taxes fell short of estimates, held back by spending on promotion and production adjustments for the new cookers. The earnings decline doesn’t signal slower demand, Chief Executive Officer Guenter Blaschke said in an interview.
“The miss is due to higher costs associated with changes in production for our two new cookers, and higher marketing product launch expenses,”Blaschke said. “These are investments to support future sales.”
Earnings before interest and taxes fell 3.8 percent to 102 million euros last year, compared with the 107 million euros analysts had estimated. Rational had said it expected a “positive development” in earnings for the full year.
Blaschke said while it was too early to quantify demand for the new generation of cookers, initial reactions by customers were “good” and “positive.”
Rational rose 2 percent to 174 euros at 1:48 p.m. in Frankfurt after falling as much as 1.5 percent earlier in the day.
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