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Hurco profit inches higher on stronger European sales

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Hurco Cos. Inc. saw profit rise 7 percent in its second fiscal quarter on revenue that increased at a similar rate, the Indianapolis-based machine tool maker announced Friday morning.

Hurco earned $3.2 million, or 48 cents per share, for the period ended April 30 after making $3 million, or 45 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

Sales and service fees totaled $49.6 million, an 8-percent jump from $46 million.

Hurco designs and produces computerized controls, machinery and software used for metal cutting and forming. Its customers tend to be independent job shops or short-run manufacturing operations within large corporations in industries such as aerospace, defense, energy, and medical equipment.

Sales and service fees in Europe, Hurco’s largest market, picked up 20 percent, to $31.9 million. Sales in North America rose 9 percent, to $13 million.

"The second-quarter order activity in Europe was positive in light of the lingering recession in the region, and performance in North America was steady,” Hurco CEO Michael Doar said in prepared comments.

Revenue slid 37 percent in the Asia Pacific market, from $7.3 million to $4.6 million. Slowing economies and more restricted credit conditions in the region have pushed small and medium-sized companies to hold off on purchase of equipment, the company said.

Company officials told IBJ in January that they expect a new image and new products to re-energize sales at the 45-year-old company.

Hurco shares slipped 4 cents, to $27.30 each, in early Friday trading.

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