MINNEAPOLIS, July 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northern Technologies International Corporation (Nasdaq:NTIC) today reported its financial results for third quarter of fiscal 2013. NTIC's consolidated net sales decreased 24.7% and 6.8% during the three and nine months ended May 31, 2013 compared to the three and nine months ended May 31, 2012, respectively. These decreases were primarily a result of decreases in sales of ZERUST® rust and corrosion inhibiting packaging products and services in Brazil. Zerust Brazil recorded a $2.3 million order during the three months ended May 31, 2012 related to product sales to Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) and did not have any sales to Petrobras during the three months ended May 31, 2013. As previously disclosed, NTIC believes that Petrobras intends to place a number of smaller orders during the remainder of fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2014, rather than one large order as Petrobras did during the three months ended May 31, 2012. "In the third quarter of fiscal 2013, NTIC continued to enjoy top-line sales growth compared to each of the three consecutive prior quarters, as we expanded our supply to several large new customers in both our ZERUST® industrial as well as our Natur-Tec® businesses. During the quarter, we were able to bring start-up costs under control that we previously incurred with the production ramp up of a broad range of new products and products for new customers and also implemented several other initiatives that we anticipate will improve our margins overall," said G. Patrick Lynch, President and Chief Executive Officer of NTIC. "Overall earnings from our international joint venture operations also improved significantly compared to the first and second quarters of fiscal 2013," continued Mr. Lynch, "despite continued uncertainty in both Europe and Asia." During the three and nine months ended May 31, 2013, 92.2% and 90.9% of NTIC's consolidated net sales, respectively, were derived from sales of ZERUST® products and services, which decreased 25.0% and 8.1% to $5,418,271 and $14,923,966 during the three and nine months ended May 31, 2013, respectively, compared to $7,220,258 and $16,243,683 during the three and nine months ended May 31, 2012, respectively, due primarily to decreases in sales of ZERUST® products and services in Brazil as noted above. NTIC has strategically focused its sales efforts for ZERUST® products and services on customers with sizeable corrosion problems in industry sectors that offer sizable growth opportunities, including the oil and gas sector. NTIC's consolidated net sales for the three and nine months ended May 31, 2013 included $567,615 and $1,699,084, respectively, of sales made by Zerust Brazil, and of those sales, $0 and $189,642, respectively, in sales were made to the oil and gas industry in Brazil. Overall demand for ZERUST® products and services depends heavily on the overall health of the markets in which NTIC sells its products, including in particular the automotive market.