NILES -- MFRI, Inc. said net sales for 2013 rose 34 percent as a result of growth in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The manufacturer of piping and filtration systems said net sales for last year were $226.8 million, up from $168.8 million in 2012. Its Piping Systems sales increased 77 percent, or $68.8 million, mainly due to projects in the Middle Eastern countries on major projects such as expanding the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the King Abdul-Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, as well as a significant domestic oil and gas project.
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The increase offset a drop in its Filtration Products sales, which was down by $10.7 million due primarily to reduced domestic demand for fabric filter bag products, the company said.
Gross profit for the year increased 90 percent to $52.2 million in 2013 from $27.5 million in 2012 mainly due to the sales increase in Piping Systems.
"Fiscal 2013 was a transitional year for us and an extraordinarily successful one," said MFRI President and CEO Bradley Mautner. "On an operating basis, the major Piping Systems projects in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were key drivers of our unusually strong top- and bottom-line results, and made fiscal 2013 a stand out year."
Mautner added that bidding on large-scale infrastructure projects in those countries will provide the company with additional opportunities for growth in 2014.
"We expect our current, large Piping Systems projects in the Middle East to continue to make important contributions to our performance, although not at as great a level as in 2013, when customer timing led to unusually high shipments from a compressed schedule," he said. "At the same time, we are encouraged by the many new bidding opportunities we are seeing in the region, as well as in other parts of the world, and are currently pursuing several significant prospects."
Net sales for the fourth quarter of 2013 increased 45.6 percent to $53.4 million from $36.7 million in the 2012 fourth quarter. Piping Systems sales increased 78 percent, or $16.1 million, mainly due to sales growth in Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. Filtration Products sales rose 4 percent to $16.8 million.
Gross profit fro the quarter increased 88 percent to $9.2 million from $4.9 million in the prior-year quarter primarily due to the sales increase in Piping Systems. Filtration Products' gross profit decreased 24 percent, due to the volume shortfall and an inventory adjustment of $600,000 for slow-moving product.