Zoltek reports net income of $9.7 million in this year's first quarter, compared to a net loss of $1.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2011.

The company's operating income was $8.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012, compared to an operating loss of $1.2 million in the previous year's first quarter.

"We are pleased to report strong gains on both the top and bottom lines in the first quarter and continuation of the momentum we experienced in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011," says Zsolt Rumy, Zoltek Chairman and CEO.

"Our performance resulted from several internal and external factors. Our net revenues were up almost a third, despite the drag on our reported sales from the decline in the value of the Euro during the quarter, reflecting our expanded customer base in the wind energy business and increased sales of composite intermediate products."

"Our margins were positively impacted by a more profitable product mix, higher utilisation of our production capacity, better operational performance, lower raw material costs and the decline in the values of the Hungarian Forint and Mexican Peso. We believe our first quarter results evidence that our carbon fibre business is on a path to increase significantly this year."

Wind energy growth

Zoltek's goal is to reach a $500 million revenue run rate in the next three years.

Wind turbine applications continue to represent the most significant near-term revenue growth potential, reports Rumy.

"Zoltek is by far the leading supplier of carbon fibres used in the most advanced wind turbines – producing up to 5 MW of electricity annually," he claims.

"We estimate that this large turbine segment of wind energy generation will increase at an annual rate of 15-25% for the next decade or more. These positive market fundamentals should enable us to maintain and build upon our leadership position as the primary supplier of carbon fibre to producers of wind turbines."