ST. LOUIS, Feb. 3, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zoltek Companies, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZOLT) today reported financial results for the first quarter of its 2011 fiscal year.

Zoltek's net sales for the quarter ended December 31, 2010, totaled $32.9 million, compared to $28.9 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2009, an increase of 13.8%. On a sequential quarter basis, net sales for the latest quarter increased $1.7 million, or 5.6%, from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.

Zoltek reported a net loss of $1.6 million, or $0.05 per share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2011, which compared to a net loss of $0.5 million, or $0.01 per share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2010. Operating loss totaled $1.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2011, compared to an operating loss of $2.7 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2010. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, Zoltek reported an operating loss of $1.9 million.

"Our first quarter results reflect our success in developing business with new customers which offset soft demand from large wind energy customers," said Zsolt Rumy, Zoltek's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We expect demand to strengthen from the large wind energy customers and the momentum in new business to continue, leading to a pick-up in operating performance through the rest of fiscal 2011 and beyond."

Said Rumy: "Worldwide, we are seeing the beginning of a strong resurgence in demand for carbon fibers from wind energy – our primary application area. While the wind turbine business slowed toward the end of calendar year 2010, our customers are entering 2011 with a significant order backlog. As we pointed out in our fiscal 2010 annual report, the wind energy business is global – with rapid growth in wind energy installations in Asia and other parts of the developing world. Through the rest of this fiscal year and beyond, we expect to benefit from the combination of a higher volume of sales to existing customers and the addition of new customers using Zoltek carbon fibers in the production of the biggest and most advanced wind turbines."