CHICAGO L.B. Foster Co. recorded net income of nearly $4.93 million in the first quarter, up 46.2 percent from $3.37 million in the same 2012 period.
The gain was realized on revenue that rose 13.2 percent to $129.3 million in the same comparison, the Pittsburgh-based manufacturer and distributor of transportation, construction and energy market products said April 30.
L.B. Fosters March backlog totaled $248.1 million, an increase of 26.3 percent from the same period last year, but its total first-quarter bookings declined 4.5 percent to $163.5 million in the same comparison.
"The first quarter was a strong start for 2013. The strength centered around our rail and tubular products, with our first-quarter backlog increase all coming from our rail business," president and chief executive officer Robert P. Bauer said in a statement.
"This performance puts us in a good position to make our 2013 plans. The operating leverage in the quarter continues to reflect our improvements in efficiency and nice growth from our more profitable product lines," he said.
"We will continue to focus on our high-priority growth opportunities, and we expect to increase capital spending," Bauer added.
Rail segment sales rose 22.2 percent year on year, with the company recognizing approximately $3.5 million in sales from the $60-million elevated transit system project in Honolulu, the company said.
Meanwhile, L.B. Fosters tubular products business saw sales rise 19.5 percent year on year during the quarter.
However, the companys construction sales fell 4 percent in the first quarter, principally due to lower fabricated bridge product sales.