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Ikonics reports record second-quarter sales

Duluth-based Ikonics Corp. is reporting all-time record quarter sales for its second quarter. It’s the third consecutive quarter of record sales, when compared to last year.

Sales neared $5 million for the second quarter, a 6 percent boost over the same period in 2013, according to the publicly traded company’s quarterly statement.

So far this year, sales of the imaging technology firm’s products are up 8 percent, the numbers show.

While second-quarter earnings of $198,000 was a 32 percent drop from last year, earnings are up a whopping 96 percent so far this year over the same six-month period in 2013.

CEO Bill Ulland, attributed last quarter’s decline to increased costs in Ikonics’ micro-machining division. The division is gearing up for expected growth as commercial aerospace customers begin introducing a next generation of aircraft beginning in the second half of this year and accelerating in 2015.

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Another reason for the earnings decline was the delayed ramp-up of part of the company’s aerospace business. The certification of one of the new jet engines that Ikonics equips with cutting-edge, sound-deadening liners, was delayed when it experienced mechanical problems, the company said.

Ulland expects those problems to be resolved soon.

To accommodate the expected growth, the company is considering building a second manufacturing plant in Morgan Park. If its board of directors approves the investment, estimated to be $8 million, construction would begin next spring, with operations beginning there in fall 2015.

“We are seeking government assistance to help us with what would be a large investment for the company and one that entails some risk,” Ulland said in a statement.