FRANKLIN PARK, Ill. (AP) â¿¿ A.M. Castle & Co., a plastics and metal distributor, turned a profit in the first quarter on stronger demand from mining, oil and gas and industrial customers.

The Franklin Park, Ill.-based company said Friday that its net income was $2.7 million, or 12 cents per share, versus a net loss of $4.6 million, or 20 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue was $272.8 million, a 22 percent increase from $223 million a year earlier.

"Sales volume was strong for the quarter, reflecting continued improvement in demand within several key end-use markets including oil and gas, mining and heavy equipment and general industrial markets," Michael Goldberg, A.M. Castle's CEO, said in a statement.

"We expect underlying demand to continue to improve during the second quarter," Goldberg added. "At this point in time, pricing for most of our products appears stable at recent levels. Therefore, we expect further sequential sales growth and increased profitability during the second quarter and we are optimistic about our opportunities to expand our share of the market as the economic recovery progresses."

Shares gained 9 cents to close at $17.66.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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