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American Locker Group's surge in orders from the U.S. Postal Service paid off in the company's third quarter, as its reported profits that were more than 3.5 times higher than a year ago.

The Jamestown-based manufacturer reported third-quarter net income of $1.68 million, compared to $459,502 a year ago. Its net sales increased 90 percent, to $18 million.

American Locker's net income per diluted share was $1.08, compared to 30 cents a year ago.

The company announced last summer it had received large bulk orders of plastic and aluminum cluster box units from several Postal Service districts. Cluster box units are mailboxes grouped together for centralized delivery at locations such as apartment complexes.

The bulk orders, worth more than $7 million in sales value, involved shipments of more than 7,000 plastic cluster box units, and 1,500 aluminum cluster box units during October.

"We haven't had a bulk order like that in the recent past," said Edward Ruttenberg, chairman and chief executive officer.

The company also said it benefited from increased sales of indoor mailboxes to its distributor network through its subsidiary, Security Manufacturing.

Last month, American Locker's Postal Service contracts were extended through the end of February 2005. The company could be competing against as many as four other businesses for the contracts, and the contract process is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Ruttenberg declined to comment on the company's performance thus far in the fourth quarter, but he said the "economic conditions in general are not working against us."


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