Gross profit was $6.4 million, or 30.3% of revenue, compared to $6.6 million, or 24.0% of revenue, for the same quarter a year ago. The 630 basis point increase reflected productivity gains in both businesses and a higher mix of Communications Systems sales. Battery & Energy Products' gross margin was 23.7%, compared to 19.6% last year, an increase of 410 basis points due to productivity improvements resulting from our lean processes and improved 9-volt margins which partially offset lower overhead absorption on volume declines. Communications Systems' gross margin was 41.2%, an increase of 550 basis points over the 35.7% gross margin reported last year, which resulted from higher volumes and productivity improvements.
Operating expenses decreased by 24% to $6.0 million, compared to $7.9 million a year ago, reflecting across-the-board actions taken to align spending with revenue. As a result, operating expenses were 28.6% of revenue, compared to 28.7% for the year earlier period.
The combination of higher gross margin and essentially flat operating expenses as a percentage of revenue resulted in a $1.7 million improvement in operating income to $0.4 million, compared to an operating loss of $1.3 million last year, despite lower revenue. Operating margin for the first quarter of 2013 was 1.8%.
Net income from continuing operations was $0.2 million, or $0.01 per share, compared to a net loss of $1.4 million, or $0.08 per share, for the first quarter of 2012. Net income from discontinued operations was $0.3 million, or $0.02 per share, for the first quarter of 2013 versus a net loss of $.1 million, or $0.01 per share, for the first quarter of 2012.Outlook Management reiterated its outlook for 2013 and continues to expect low- to mid-single digit revenue growth reflecting strong growth in Communications Systems sales and modest gains in the Battery & Energy Products business, despite continued constraints on U.S. government spending. Based on this outlook for revenue growth, ongoing productivity improvements and plans to continue prudently investing in new product development, management expects to increase operating profitability for the year and to generate a mid-single digit operating margin.
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