The Eastern Company (NYSE Amex - EML) today announced the results of its operations for the first quarter of 2010. Sales for the quarter were $31.0 million, compared to $28.4 million for the same period in 2009, a 9% increase. Net Income for the first quarter was $1.0 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of ($1.1) million, or ($0.18) per diluted share that was reported in the first quarter of 2009.

Leonard F. Leganza, Chairman, President and CEO stated, “We are very pleased with the results we achieved in the first quarter of this year. All three of our business segments reported increased sales and earnings as compared to the first quarter of 2009. Cost and expense reductions implemented during 2009 have helped to provide ongoing positive results across our business segments. While we have experienced increased sales in many of the markets we serve, it is still too early to conclude whether or not the economy will sustain itself and continue to get stronger. However, we feel very positive about our business plans for 2010 and anticipate an overall increase in sales and earnings for the year.”

Mr. Leganza continued, “Our Metal Products segment experienced a very significant operational improvement in the first quarter and recorded solid operating earnings. Continuing demand for our mining products is expected throughout the year as the demand for coal continues to be strong. To meet the anticipated production demand, quality and delivery requirements of our customers we are investing approximately $2.5 million in a capital improvement plan in the Metal Products segment to assure our response to those requirements.”

Mr. Leganza further stated, “In the Industrial Hardware segment, sales increased 15% compared to the first quarter of 2009. We experienced a general increase in sales in our primary market sectors which are distribution, vehicular, and industrial hardware. Sales of Sleeper Cabs, manufactured with our lightweight composite material, for both military and commercial Class 8 heavy trucks began ramping up in the first quarter of 2010 as a result of the upward projections in the trucking industry. Our first quarter results also included the shipment of over 350 kits of lightweight panels used in the assembly of local delivery vans in the Mexican market. We anticipate additional demand for those kits throughout the year. In addition, our Mexican facility is prepared to manufacture our lightweight composite panels for several other applications.”