MANCHESTER, Conn., April 30, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lydall, Inc. (NYSE:LDL) today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010.

Net sales for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 were $75.6 million compared with $54.3 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2009. Excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, net sales increased by $19.7 million, or 36.2%, in the first quarter of 2010 compared with the first quarter of 2009. Net loss for the current quarter was ($0.5) million, or ($.03) per diluted share, compared to a net loss of ($4.5) million, or ($.27) per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2009. The first quarter of 2009 included restructuring related expenses of $1.3 million (net of tax), or $.08 per diluted share, associated with consolidation of the North American automotive operation ("NA Auto consolidation").

Gross margin percentage for the first quarter of 2010 was 18.5% compared to 11.0% in the first quarter of 2009. Excluding the impact of restructuring related expenses in the first quarter of 2009, gross margin percentage increased by 370 basis points in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the same quarter of 2009. This increase was primarily from the Thermal/Acoustical segment where higher net sales of $12.5 million, net of foreign currency translation, resulted in improved absorption of fixed costs, and fixed costs were generally lower due to the NA Auto consolidation.

Selling, product development, and administrative expenses were $14.7 million, or 19.4% of net sales, in the first quarter of 2010, compared to $13.1 million, or 24.1% of net sales, in the first quarter of 2009. This increase of $1.6 million was primarily due to higher legal expenses, accrued incentive compensation expense and severance charges in the current quarter compared to the first quarter of 2009.