The Gorman-Rupp Company (NYSE Amex: GRC) reports net sales and earnings for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011.

Net sales during the first quarter ended March 31, 2011 increased 27.8% to $84,074,000 compared to $65,786,000 during the same period in 2010. Net income increased 58.3% to $7,119,000 compared to $4,497,000 in the first quarter 2010. Earnings per share were $0.42 and $0.27 for the respective periods.

Higher sales during the quarter, which includes sales of National Pump Company acquired October 1, 2010, were positively impacted by the improved global economy compared to a year ago. Primary increases were in sales to the industrial, agricultural, construction and rental markets. In addition, sales of custom pumps increased during the quarter as a result of pumps supplied for flood control projects.

Strong incoming orders in the aforementioned markets during the quarter resulted in a record backlog of $141.1 million at March 31, 2011, a 35.0% increase from a year ago and 31.4% higher than the backlog of $107.4 million at December 31, 2010.

The increase in earnings for the quarter principally reflects improved operating leverage on the higher volume of sales. First quarter earnings also benefited from the inclusion of National Pump Company, partially offset by additional LIFO expense of $0.03 per share primarily due to increases in price indexes.

The Company continues to maintain a strong balance sheet with $32.9 million in cash and short-term investments at March 31, 2011 and has excellent liquidity. During the quarter, $3.0 million of borrowings used to finance the acquisition of National Pump Company were re-paid with the remaining $22.0 million planned to be paid by the end of the year.

Jeffrey S. Gorman, President and CEO said, “We are very encouraged by the amount and diversity of new orders received during the quarter and by the much improved financial results compared to a year ago. Strong domestic sales growth combined with continued expansion in international markets and improved operating leverage have contributed to the Company’s performance. The record backlog at the end of the quarter favorably positions the Company for the coming months.”

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