Caesarstone Ltd. (NASDAQ:CSTE), a manufacturer of high quality engineered quartz surfaces, today reported financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2016. Revenue in the third quarter of 2016 increased by 5.5% to a new record of $144.3 million as compared to $136.8 million in the same quarter of the prior year. On a constant currency basis, third quarter revenue growth was 3.8%. Growth in reported revenue was driven primarily by continued strong performances in Australia and Canada, which grew 21.8% and 13.0%, respectively; Israel and Rest of World, up 6.4% and 14.8%, respectively, also contributed to overall growth, partially offset by the United States and Europe, which declined 5.4% and 1.2%, respectively. Yonathan Melamed, Chairman, commented, "We are pleased to continue to achieve record revenue with growth in many regions demonstrating the strength of our brand globally and the success of our innovative products. At the same time, given the strength of the ongoing market opportunity for quartz, we are not satisfied with our third-quarter performance in the United States. We have taken significant actions to enhance a number of key operating capabilities. We have a strong business with excellent products, high level service and a tremendous brand and we believe we can reaccelerate our business in the United States." Gross margin in the third quarter was 40.5%, an increase of a full percentage point as compared to a margin of 39.5% in the same period in the prior year. The improved margin was primarily attributable to lower raw material costs. Operating expenses in the third quarter were $30.3 million, or 21.0% of revenues, as compared to $29.4 million, or 21.5% of revenues, in the same quarter last year. The Company noted that legal settlements and loss contingencies expenses were $1.0 million in third quarter of 2016 compared with $4.7 million in the same quarter last year, when the Company initially recorded a liability related to Silicosis claims. Excluding these costs, operating expenses were $29.3 million, or 20.3% of revenues, as compared to $24.7 million, or 18.0% of revenues, in the same quarter last year. This increase reflects a significant expansion of the Company's sales and marketing capabilities in the United States to support its plan to resume growth in all channels of distribution.