Strong Bookings and Record Backlog Lower Net Sales and Net Loss Due to Timing of Shipments WALLA WALLA, Wash., Jan. 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Key Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq:KTEC) announced today sales and operating results for the fiscal 2013 first quarter, ended December 31, 2012. Net sales for the three months ended December 31, 2012 were $19.9 million, compared to the $26.0 million reported for the same quarter last year. The Company reported a net loss for the first quarter of $874,000, or $0.16 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $243,000, or $0.05 per diluted share, in the same period a year ago. Gross profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 was $6.5 million compared to $8.6 million in the corresponding period last year, or 32.7% compared to 33.0%, respectively, of net sales. "Our lower net sales and the net loss for the first quarter were consistent with our previously stated expectations, and primarily reflected the composition of our backlog and customer shipping schedules. At the same time, however, we were successful in maintaining our gross margin percentage for the quarter," said Jack Ehren, President and Chief Executive Officer of Key Technology, Inc. Operating expenses for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 were $7.7 million, or 38.9% of net sales, compared to $8.8 million, or 33.8% of net sales, in the same quarter last year. "We continued to realize the benefit of our prior-year third-quarter workforce reductions with significantly lower operating expenses, compared to the same quarter last year, while still positively positioning the company to execute on our long-term objectives," said Ehren. At the close of the December 31, 2012 quarter, the Company's backlog was $49.3 million, compared to $37.0 million at the close of the corresponding period one year ago. New orders received during the fiscal 2013 first quarter were $38.1 million, compared to $26.6 million in the same period last year.