New orders for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 totaled $44,262,000, an increase of $23,655,000, or 115%, from the corresponding period in fiscal 2010. New orders increased in North America by $7,754,000, or 134%, in Europe by $13,720,000, or 117%, and in the Asia Pacific region by $2,181,000, or 71%. The impact of currency translation on new orders was consistent with the impact on sales. New orders measured in units increased in North America by 166%, in Europe by 110%, and in the Asia Pacific sales region by 45%.
Gross profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 was 29%, compared to 19% for the prior year period. The increase in gross profit as a percentage of sales was due to the significant increase in production and sales volume and was partially offset by the negative impact of a strengthened Taiwanese Dollar in relation to the U.S. Dollar and an increase in the cost of raw materials, particularly metals. Hurco expects that this cost impact will continue and we will adjust sales prices accordingly.
Selling, general and administrative expenses were $8,830,000 for the first quarter of fiscal 2011, an increase of $2,297,000, or 35%, from the first quarter of fiscal 2010. The increase included $594,000 of increased compensation expense paid to employees who took wage reductions during the economic downturn. The remainder of the increase primarily related to higher sales commissions and increased sales and marketing expenses. Despite the dollar increase, selling, general and administrative expenses were 22% of sales and service fees during the first quarter of fiscal 2011 compared to 32% for the first quarter of fiscal 2010.
Cash and cash equivalents totaled $50,289,000 as of January 31, 2011, compared to $48,255,000 as of October 31, 2010. Inventory as of January 31, 2011 was $59,668,000, an increase of $3,802,000, or 7%, from October 31, 2010, due to our increased production levels in response to higher customer demand.
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