WALLA WALLA, Wash., Nov. 17, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Key Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:KTEC) announced today sales and operating results for fiscal 2016 and the fourth quarter ended September 30, 2016. Fiscal 2016 OverviewNet sales for fiscal 2016 were $120.0 million, an increase of $17.1 million, or 17% compared to the $102.9 million reported for fiscal 2015. The Company reported a net loss for fiscal 2016 of $697,000, or $0.11 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $5.0 million, or $0.80 per diluted share, for fiscal 2015. For the 2016 fiscal year, gross profit was $36.0 million, compared to $28.8 million for fiscal 2015, or 30.0% and 28.0%, respectively, of net sales. Operating expenses for the year ended September 30, 2016 were $36.2 million, or 30.2% of net sales, compared to $36.2 million, or 35.2% of net sales, for fiscal 2015. Fourth Quarter OverviewNet sales for the three months ended September 30, 2016 were $30.5 million, an increase of $0.1 million, or 0.3%, compared to the $30.4 million reported for the same quarter last year. The Company reported net earnings for the fourth quarter of $515,000, or $0.08 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $1.5 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, in the same period a year ago. Gross profit for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 was $9.9 million, compared to $8.4 million in the corresponding period last year, or 32.6% compared to 27.6%, respectively, of net sales. Operating expenses for the quarter ended September 30, 2016 were $8.8 million, or 29.0% of net sales, compared to $10.2 million, or 33.7% of net sales, in the same quarter last year. Orders and BacklogOrders received for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2016 were $128.7 million, compared to $114.8 million in fiscal 2015. New orders received during the fiscal 2016 fourth quarter were $36.5 million, compared to $30.6 million in the same period last year. As of September 30, 2016, the Company's backlog was $40.4 million, compared to $30.7 million at September 30, 2015. Jack Ehren, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are encouraged by our overall company-wide execution in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. We realized improved results in all areas of our business during the quarter and fiscal year, including orders, net sales, gross margins, and operating results. We achieved our highest fourth quarter orders level ever at $36.5 million, and our annual orders of $128.7 million was the second largest orders year in the history of our Company. Our orders in the fourth quarter and fiscal year were extremely strong in the EMEIA region, driven by several significant strategic projects, most notably in the potato market. For fiscal 2016, orders in euros in the EMEIA region grew 26% over our prior record order level achieved in fiscal 2015. Orders in this region over the last two fiscal years have grown 66%. Our fourth quarter ending backlog of $40.4 million set a new Company record as the largest backlog entering a new fiscal year."