On a sequential quarter basis, sales for the latest quarter increased $16.4 million, up 63% from the second quarter of fiscal 2010.
For fiscal 2010's third quarter, Zoltek reports a net loss of $0.4 million, compared to a net loss of $1.4 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2009. In the second quarter of fiscal 2010, Zoltek incurred a net loss of $5.0 million.
For the first nine months of fiscal 2010, Zoltek recorded net sales were $97.3 million, a decrease of 7% on the corresponding nine-month period of fiscal 2009. For the first nine months of the current fiscal year, Zoltek reports a net loss of $5.9 million, compared to a net loss of $0.4 million in the corresponding nine-month period of fiscal 2009.
"As we have told our shareholders, we went into fiscal 2010 expecting a slow start and a strong finish," says Zsolt Rumy, Zoltek Chairman and CEO. "We are pleased to report that the strong finish began to materialise in the third quarter, as our sales were up substantially both from the third quarter of fiscal 2009 and from the second quarter of this year. Our operating results, particularly our gross margins, have not recovered along with our sales, as we continue to bear the costs of carrying unused capacity to attract new business, as well as higher costs for our primary raw material. We expect that our overall financial results will improve as the rebound in our sales continues and raw material prices moderate toward historical levels."
China, India and other markets
"In the year and a half prior to fiscal 2010's third quarter, we experienced a sudden, but we believe only temporary, slowdown in the growth of the advanced composite business in general and the wind turbine application in particular due in large measure to the global economic slowdown," Rumy adds. "After years of growing at a 20-25% annual rate, worldwide growth in electricity generated from wind energy slowed to an estimated 10% per year. Our third quarter sales reflected what we believe is a return to normal long-term growth levels in the industry. Our revenue growth also reflected our ability to supply new customers in our targeted applications."
"Looking ahead to the rest of this year and into fiscal 2011, we anticipate increased carbon fibre sales to existing and new customers in the wind turbine business, in addition to emerging applications," he adds.
"We are actively pursuing substantial growth opportunities for carbon fibre and related products in China, India and other markets and are encouraged by developments to-date."
"At the same time, we are continuing to invest substantial time and resources in developing whole new applications for low-cost, high-performance carbon in automobile manufacturing, deep sea oil and gas production and other application categories that have the potential for even faster growth."