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Graham Corp.’s profits dip slightly

Graham Corp.’s first-quarter profits dipped by 1 percent – less than analysts had expected – as the Batavia manufacturer moved to cut its costs as low oil prices took a toll on its key energy markets.

Graham’s profits fell to $2.36 million, or 23 cents per share, from $2.39 million, or 24 cents per share, a year ago. The company’s sales slipped by 3 percent to $27.5 million during the quarter that ended in June, down from $28.5 million a year earlier, as sales to refineries and other energy markets plunged by 25 percent.

In response, Graham has cut its costs and is offering an early retirement program to workers at its Batavia factory. “Our early actions to address costs as market conditions changed enables us to maintain respectable profitability, while also being well positioned for strengthened demand,” said James R. Lines, Graham’s CEO, in a statement Thursday.

Analysts had expected the company to earn 16 cents on $25.1 million in revenues.

Graham said it still expects its sales this year to plunge by around 26 percent to about $100 million, down from $135 million a year earlier. Graham expects its profitability to be squeezed as production drops and the weakness in its markets increases pressure on prices.