Key Tech returns to profitability in fiscal 2010

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Key Technology returned to profitability during fiscal 2010, cemented in the last quarter by a record number of bookings, the Walla Walla manufacturer announced.

Net sales for the year, ending Sept. 30, were $115.8 million, an increase of 9.8 percent from the $105.4 million reported for fiscal 2009.

Net earnings were $3.6 million for the year, or 69 cents per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $491,000, or 10 cents per diluted share, for fiscal 2009.

Key President and CEO David Camp attributed the improved economic standing to a strategic approach devised during the last fiscal year.

"In 2009, we made two critical decisions: continue investing in new product solutions and continue reducing operating expenses," Camp said in a prepared statement. "We are now realizing the positive effect of these actions, and expect that the benefits will continue into fiscal 2011."

Net sales for the fourth quarter that ended Sept. 30 were $31 million, an 8.3 percent increase from the $28.6 million reported during the same quarter the year before.

Net earnings for the quarter were $1 million, or 19 cents per diluted shares, compared with a net loss of $45,000 during the same quarter 2009.

Gross profit for the year was $40.2 million, up from $39 million in 2009. The fourth-quarter gross profit was $11 million, compared to $10 million during the same quarter last year.

"We are seeing an increase in larger project opportunities over what we saw a year ago at this time, particularly in North America, and we believe this should carry into fiscal 2011," Camp said. "These opportunities, however, are accompanied by continuing competitive challenges in the market and, accordingly, we are striving to identify and implement additional cost-of-sales reductions in fiscal 2011."

Orders during fiscal 2010 were $121.1 million, up 19 percent from last year. New orders during the fourth quarter were $36.2 million, compared to $32.3 million in the same period last year.

"The new orders in the quarter are a new record for a fourth quarter, and our backlog is the largest ever entering a new fiscal year," Camp said. "We have had an increase in orders over the previous year's quarter for the last five consecutive quarters.

"Our analysis is that our enhanced portfolio of products is being well-received in the industry."

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