We purchase approximately 5.5 million SWU per year under the Megatons to Megawatts program, but under our agreed upon shipping schedule, there were no deliveries in the first quarter of either 2011 or 2012.
Cost of sales for contract services was $21.5 million in the first quarter, a decrease of $37.9 million or 64 percent over the same period last year, reflecting the transition of contract services work at the Portsmouth site, partially offset by increased sales by NAC.
The gross profit for the first quarter was $38.8 million, an increase of $24.9 million over the same period in 2011. The gross profit margin for the 2012 period was 6.9 percent compared to 3.7 percent in the first quarter of 2011. Gross profit for the LEU segment was $21.4 million higher due to higher SWU sales volume and lower costs. Gross profit for the contract services segment increased $3.5 million in the three months compared to the corresponding period in 2011, reflecting increased gross profit for NAC and a $3.2 million pension curtailment charge in the prior period related to the transition of Portsmouth site contract service workers to DOE’s decontamination and decommissioning contractor.
Advanced Technology, Special Charges and Interest
Advanced technology expense, primarily related to the demonstration of the American Centrifuge technology, was $36.8 million in the quarter compared to $26.7 million in the first quarter of 2011. As previously noted, beginning in the fourth quarter 2011, all American Centrifuge project costs incurred have been expensed. Although overall project spending has been reduced, costs charged to expense were greater in 2012. Advanced technology expense includes expenses by NAC to develop and expand its MAGNASTOR™ storage and transportation technology of $0.1 million during the first quarter 2012 compared to $0.4 million in the same period of 2011.
Selling, general and administrative expenses in the first quarter were $14.9 million, a decrease of $0.6 million over the same period in 2011, primarily due to slightly lower salary, employee benefit costs and other small expense reductions.