Strong growth in its electroluminescent lighting systems business, as well as its specialty packaging operations, helped Astronics Corp. boost its fourth-quarter profits by 22 percent, the Buffalo-based company said Tuesday.
The improved profits helped Astronics post its 19th straight quarter of rising earnings and extend its string of increased quarterly sales to 4 1/2 years.
"Both the aerospace and electronics business and the specialty packaging business had excellent sales growth and profit growth," said John M. Yessa, the company's vice president of finance. "It's nice when both sides are hitting on all cylinders."
Astronics said its profits grew to $1.69 million, or 29 cents per share, from $1.39 million, or 24 cents per share, a year ago. The company's sales grew by 14 percent to $13 million from $11.4 million the year before.
The company's aerospace and electroluminescent lighting business got a boost from rising sales of its egress and cockpit lighting systems, Yessa said. Astronics packaging business had steady growth, with its five biggest customers all increasing their business with the company.
Astronics' backlog of orders also continued to grow, rising by 16 percent to $25.6 million at the end of the year, compared with $22 million at the end of September. Astronics' backlog of orders is up 137 percent from $10.8 million at the end of last year.
"That helps keep the sales number running," Yessa said.
For the year, Astronics' profits, which have increased at a 34.7 percent annual rate over the last four years, grew by 21 percent to $4.3 million, or 73 cents per share, from $3.55 million, or 61 cents per share, a year ago.
Sales, which have risen at a 16.6 percent annual rate over the last four years, rose by 12 percent to $46.1 million from $41 million the year before.