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Lakeland Industries’ profit jumps to $1.7 million

Vitaly Gladyshev wears one of the company's protective

Vitaly Gladyshev wears one of the company's protective suits. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Lakeland Industries reported a big jump in profit for the February-April period on higher sales of its protective clothing for factory workers, firefighters and the military.

The Ronkonkoma-based manufacturer said its profit was $1.7 million in the three months ended April 30 compared with $3,000 a year earlier.

Sales in the company’s fiscal first quarter totaled $23 million, a 12.7 percent increase from February-April 2016.

“With a strengthened balance sheet, all major global operations turning a profit in the first quarter and productivity and market share enhancement strategies in place, we are well positioned for continued growth during the balance of the year and beyond,” CEO Christopher J. Ryan said in a statement Wednesday night.

Lakeland’s sales are nearly evenly split between the United States and overseas.

Ryan said domestic sales growth in the quarter was driven by orders for fire protection gear while foreign sales were strongest to China, other Asian countries, Russia, Kazakhstan and Latin America.

He also said sales to the United Kingdom fell nearly 11 percent, year over year, because of “uncertainty in the economy as a result of Brexit,” Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

Lakeland’s protective clothing is primarily made at company-owned plants in Alabama, China, India and Mexico. About 90 percent of the payroll of 993 workers is based overseas.

The announcement came after Wednesday’s stock market close. Lakeland’s stock rose nearly 9 percent Thursday to close at $12.90. The stock is up about 46 percent over the past 12 months.

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