Graham Corp.'s first-quarter profits strengthened, even as softness in its key oil refining market led to a 7 percent drop in sales.
The Batavia heat transfer equipment maker's profits improved because of "solid productivity at low production volumes," said James R. Lines, Graham's president and CEO.
Graham's profits rose to $935,000, or 10 cents per share, compared with $85,000, or 1 cent per share, a year ago, when its earnings were reduced by $400,000 in restructuring charges.
The company's sales fell to $20.9 million during the quarter that ended in June, compared with $22.4 million a year earlier. Graham's sales to the refinery market fell by 50 percent, offsetting a nearly 40 percent improvement in its chemical and petrochemical sales and a 15 percent gain in revenues from its commercial, industrial and defense markets.
Lines warned that Graham's sales during the current quarter are likely to be less than the $20.8 million in revenues it booked during the first quarter, but he said the company still expects sales this year to range between $80 million and $90 million.
Graham said its order bookings were weak during the first quarter, leading to a 12 percent decline in its backlog of orders since the end of March.