DULUTH, Minn., April 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IKONICS Corporation (Nasdaq:IKNX), a Duluth based imaging technology company, announced record first quarter sales in 2013 of $4,022,000, slightly higher than last year's record first quarter sales of $4,010,000. The company posted a loss of $88,000 or $0.04 per share in the first quarter of 2013 compared with a loss of $62,000, $0.03 per share, for the corresponding quarter in 2012. Bill Ulland, IKONICS CEO, said that although sales set a record for the quarter, earnings were down, reflecting investments in the Company's new technologies and the cyclical nature of first quarter sales to our traditional customers. "We believe we are on a path for significant growth, particularly with our composite machining technology," Ulland said. "In the first quarter of 2011 we had one account for composite machining. Last year in the first quarter the number of accounts stood at three. Today, we have thirteen." Ulland added: "For the most part, these accounts represent the use of our technology for sound deadening in commercial aircraft. We have expanded our business model to include the machining of composite parts, in addition to selling masks for use in machining by the customer. Consequently, we are substantially increasing our machining capabilities and have strengthened our intellectual property position through patent applications and the protection of trade secrets. "In addition to our focus on sound deadening, we recently announced an exciting project with Lockheed Martin for the machining of ceramic matrix composites (CMC). We are seeing additional interest in this application of our technology from other companies. In the aerospace industry, CMC is projected to replace metal, thereby reducing weight and improving performance in a new generation of jet engines as indicated in this educational video produced by General Electric: http://youtu.be/666VH25FeG0 "While composite machining is a major opportunity for IKONICS, aerospace programs are slow to develop and ramp-up to full production can take years. In the second half of 2013 we anticipate sales to increase significantly leading to major production in 2014 and beyond. As the aerospace industry replaces its aging commercial fleet with aircraft using a far greater percentage of composites, we believe we are well positioned to grow within this industry.