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Strong gains from its military and commercial flight controls businesses, coupled with its acquisition last year of Moog Controls Inc., helped Moog Inc. boost its third-quarter profits by 42 percent, the Elma aerospace company said today.

"We're very happy. It's going great," said Robert T. Brady, Moog's chairman and chief executive officer. "I think the improvement we're seeing is sustainable."

Moog's profits soared to $3.56 million, or 49 cents per share, from $2.51 million, or 33 cents per share, or 33 cents per share a year ago, when its earnings were trimmed by $510,000 because of the early retirement of some debt. Without that expense, Moog's profits rose by 18 percent from $3.02 million, or 40 cents per share.

Moog stretched its string of rising earnings to 12 straight quarters and its profits also topped analysts' expectations of 48 cents per share.

The company's sales rose by 16 percent to $120.1 million during the quarter that ended on June 30 from $103.1 million the year before, mostly because of sharply higher revenues from its commercial flight controls and hydraulic products businesses.

Moog's profits from its U.S. business more than doubled to $3.3 million, while its domestic sales grew by 23 percent to $86.9 million.

The company's sales of commercial flight controls rose by 55 percent to $28.2 million, while its operating profits from that business soared by 73 percent to $3.4 million, largely because Moog's sales to Boeing Inc. more than doubled to reflect rising production of its 747 and 767 commercial jets.

Sales from the firm's hydraulic products business rose by 31 percent, with nearly all of the increase coming from last October's acquisition of Moog Controls Inc., an Orchard Park servovalve manufacturer. The hydraulic products group's operating profits rose by 17 percent to $3.3 million.

Operating profits at Moog's military flight controls business grew by 37 percent to $6 million, despite a 4 percent dip in sales to $32.3 million, mostly due to a better product mix.

Moog's international profits fell by 77 percent to $300,000, from $1.3 million a year ago, when the company's earnings were bolstered by tax-loss carryforwards. Moog also had a $500,000 expense this year for excess inventories at a Danish manufacturer of plastic pipe measurement equipment that it sold during the quarter.

The sale was one step in Moog's efforts to revive its electric products business, which had a $1.8 million operating loss. Moog also shifted production of its Danish unit that builds control systems for injection moulding machines to its Irish factory.

Moog also has struggled to position its electric drives products at the top end of that highly-competitive market. "I think the course we're on, which is to press the improved technology and cultivate customers on a selective basis, is the right path to stay on. It just takes a little time," Brady said.

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