albany-international-uammi-utahA sharp jump in sales of composite fan blades, cases and spacers for a high-tech jet engine helped to propel profits at Rochester-based Albany International Co., according to financial filings.

Sales of the parts, built partly in Rochester, made for the leading edge aviation propulsion (LEAP) engines increased 74 percent in the third quarter of 2018, the company reported.

That helped quarterly net sales climb to $253 million, a 14 percent increase, and net income nearly double to $28.3 million, or 87 cents a share. Year-to-date, the company net sales are up by $102 million to $739.5 million, with a net income increasing $42 million to $69 million, or $2.13 a share.

The biggest part of that growth was in Albany Engineered Composites (AEC) the newest and smallest segment of the company, whose sales grew 39 percent to $94.3 million last quarter and now account for about 14 percent of sales. AEC’s largest source of revenue is derived from LEAP.

AEC includes Albany Safran Composites (ACS), in which Safran Group, a French aerospace engine manufacturer, owns a 10 percent interest. ACS in turn supplies the fan blades and cases to Safran under a long-term agreement.

ASC’s net sales to Safran were $136.9 million in the first nine months of 2018, up from $84.1 million in during the same period of 2017. The 3D-woven injected composite components are produced jointly in Rochester, France and Mexico.

AEC also makes composite airframe and engine components for other aircraft at its larger facility in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“Our execution to date on our major existing contracts, along with anticipated new contract wins, continue to provide the potential for AEC to reach annual sales of $475 million to $550 million in 2020,” predicted CEO Olivier Jarrault.

Albany’s legacy segment, Machine Clothing, also increased quarterly sales by about $8 million to $159 million. But that division has been generally declining. The company closed its French facility, laying off 50. It also cut back on its AEC production in Salt Lake City, incurring restructuring charges, but it is now expanding in Utah.  Read more…..