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Profits sliced at Servotronics

Servotronics Inc. finished last year with a fourth-quarter loss as the Elma company’s knife business lost money while earnings tumbled at its motion control equipment business.

Servotronics lost $64,000, or 3 cents per share, during the final three months of last year, compared with a profit of $95,000, or 4 cents per share, a year ago.

Servotronics’ total revenues were nearly flat, slipping by less than 1 percent to $7.17 million from $7.21 million a year ago, despite a double-digit decline in sales from its knife business.

The company’s cutlery business, which makes knives for both military and recreational users, lost $192,000 during the fourth quarter. While that loss was smaller than the $265,000 the knife unit lost a year ago, it was a reversal from the modest profit the business earned during the third quarter.

Servotronics’ knife sales weakened by 11 percent to $1.7 million from $1.9 million, according to data the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company’s Advanced Technology Group, which makes sophisticated motion control equipment for aerospace and military customers, was hit by a 64 percent plunge in its profits, which dropped to $128,000 from $360,000 a year earlier. The segment’s sales rose by 3 percent to $5.5 million from $5.3 million the year before.

The company plans to restructure its cutlery business in a move to consolidate its operations in an expanded Ontario Knife Co. factory in Franklinville. The company plans a $4.4 million expansion at the facility that will include a 25,000-square-foot addition and improvements to the existing plant, including the acquisition of new knife-making equipment.

Servotronics has been granted a package of tax breaks from the County of Cattaraugus Industrial Development Agency for the project, as well as a $300,000 grant from Cattaraugus County.