ST. LOUIS, Nov. 29, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zoltek Companies, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZOLT) today reported results for the fourth quarter and full fiscal year ended September 30, 2010.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, Zoltek reported net sales of $31.1 million, which compared to $33.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, a decrease of 8%. Zoltek reported an operating loss of $1.9 million for the latest quarter, included the negative effect of $2.3 million in available unused capacity costs. In the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal year, Zoltek reported an operating loss of $1.9 million and $3.0 in available unused capacity costs.

For fiscal 2010 as a whole, Zoltek's net sales were $128.5 million, compared to $138.8 million in fiscal 2009, a decrease of 7.4%. Zoltek reported an operating loss of $10.6 million for the year just ended, compared to operating income of $3.4 million in fiscal 2009. Zoltek also reported net cash provided by operating activities of $22.0 million in fiscal 2010, up from $15.2 million in fiscal 2009, an increase of 44.7%.

"During the past year, our largest customer in the wind energy business decided to close several wind turbine plants in Europe and to shift productive capacity to new locations in the United States and Asia. That led to a temporary decline in our sales to this customer for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2010 as a whole. Although our revenue declined, measured in tons rather than dollars, Zoltek's shipments of carbon fibers actually increased by 9% in fiscal 2010 compared to fiscal 2009," Zsolt Rumy, Zoltek's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said. "We also have come through an extremely difficult period in world markets in good financial condition – with a strong positive cash flow and with near zero long-term debt." 

"The decline in our reported net sales reflected unfavorable currency fluctuations, but more importantly lower selling prices due to irrational pricing conditions in the carbon fiber industry. Nevertheless, we are disappointed that we didn't bounce back with strongly improved sales in fiscal 2010 as we expected at the beginning of the year. We have strengthened our global marketing activities, expanded our customer base and enhanced our product technology and product line offering during fiscal 2010 and we are confident that we are positioned to capitalize on identified growth opportunities in fiscal 2011," Rumy said.