updated 5/10/2010 5:01:16 PM ET 2010-05-10T21:01:16

ST. LOUIS, May 10, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zoltek Companies, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZOLT) today reported financial results for the second quarter of its 2010 fiscal year.

Zoltek's net sales for the quarter ended March 31, 2010, totaled $26.0 million, compared to $36.0 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2009, a decrease of 28%. On a sequential quarter basis, sales for the latest quarter declined $2.9 million, or 10%, from the first quarter of fiscal 2010.

For fiscal 2010's second quarter, Zoltek reported a net loss of $5.0 million, compared to net income of $0.5 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2009. In the first quarter of fiscal 2010, Zoltek incurred a net loss of $0.5 million.

For the first half of fiscal 2010, Zoltek's net sales were $54.9 million, compared to $74.6 million in the first half of fiscal 2009, a decrease of 26%. For the first half of the current fiscal year, Zoltek reported a net loss of $5.5 million, compared to net income of $1.0 million in the first half of fiscal 2009.

"Like many other businesses -- and, even more so, like most of our customers -- we went into 2010 expecting a slow start and a strong finish, and that is exactly how it appears to be working out. We have already begun to increase shipments of our low-cost, high-performance carbon fibers in response to a significantly stronger recent order flow," Zsolt Rumy, Zoltek's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, observed.

"In particular," Rumy said, "we are encouraged by the recovery in demand publicly reported by Vestas Wind Systems AS, of Denmark, the world largest producer of advanced wind turbines. Vestas is the largest buyer of carbon fibers in the world and currently Zoltek's biggest customer. In its quarterly financial report on April 28th, Vestas announced a 32% decrease in revenues. But the good news was that Vestas reported the volume of new orders was nearly double its revenues for the quarter. Vestas noted that it expects the flow of new orders to continue to strengthen through the rest of this year. That translates into rising production and sales and it is great news for Zoltek because we are the primary supplier of the carbon fibers that Vestas uses to produce the rotor blades that power the biggest and most advanced wind turbines."

Rumy said that he also expects to receive increased orders in the second half of fiscal 2010 from wind turbine producer Gamesa Group of Spain. Zoltek is in ongoing discussions and production trials with several potential new customers in wind energy in Europe, Asia and Latin America and expects to negotiate new long-term supply relationships with additional manufacturers of wind turbines and the blades that power them. Currently, by a large majority, Zoltek's carbon fibers are used in wind turbine blades that utilize carbon fibers. Rumy added, "We believe our success in wind energy applications has been due to providing the best value proposition in the industry and we will continue to execute our business strategies to maintain this strong supply position."

In addition, Rumy said that despite the net loss in the year-to-date period, Zoltek has continued to pay down its long-term debt and to aggressively monitor and manage its working capital. At the end of the second quarter, Zoltek's debt-to-equity ratio was 0.12-to-1 and current ratio was 4.12-to-1. The company believes that its current lines of credit and enhanced liquidity will support its growth plans for the foreseeable future.

During the second quarter, Zoltek announced the formation of a new subsidiary, called Zoltek Automotive, to speed the development of high-volume applications for carbon fibers within the automotive industry. Further information about this new venture may be found at www.Zoltek.com. Spearheaded by two highly regarded experts in automotive composites, Zoltek Automotive will provide "auto-makers and their top-tier suppliers with a comprehensive set of solutions to their needs -- everything from reliable supply of carbon fiber and carbon fiber composites at predictably low prices, to process technology, to design, analysis and testing, and to fabrication and manufacturing of a wide assortment of composite parts and structures." Rumy said that he expected that the automotive industry ultimately will emerge as the largest user of carbon fibers, and that he expected significant sales of carbon fibers to the automotive industry to begin within the next three years.

Zoltek will host a conference call to review second quarter results and answer questions on Tuesday, May 11, 2010, at 10:00 am CT. The conference dial-in number is (888) 256-1013. The confirmation code is 5648870. Individuals who wish to participate should dial in 5 to 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. This conference call will also be webcast on Zoltek's website ― under "Investor Relations -- Events & Presentations." The webcast replay will be available on the website several hours after the call.

This press release contains certain statements that constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The words "expect," "believe," "goal," "plan," "intend," "estimate," and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to specifically identify forward-looking statements. Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of us, our directors and officers with respect to, among other things: (1) our financial prospects; (2) our growth strategy and operating strategy, including our focus on facilitating acceleration of the introduction and development of mass market applications for carbon fibers; (3) our current and expected future revenue; and (4) our ability to complete financing arrangements that are adequate to fund current operations and our long-term strategy.

This press release also contains statements that are based on the current expectations of our company. You are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. The factors that might cause such differences include, among others, our ability to: (1) successfully adapt to recessionary conditions in the global economy and substantial volatility in order rates from our wind energy customers; (2) penetrate existing, identified and emerging markets, including entering into new supply agreements with large volume customers; (3) continue to improve efficiency at our manufacturing facilities on a timely and cost-effective basis to meet current order levels of carbon fibers; (4) successfully add new planned capacity for the production of carbon fiber and precursor raw materials and meet our obligations under long-term supply agreements; (5) maintain profitable operations; (6) increase or maintain our borrowing at acceptable costs; (7) manage changes in customers' forecasted requirements for our products; (8) continue investing in application and market development for a range of applications; (9) manufacture low-cost carbon fibers and profitably market them despite fluctuations in raw material and energy costs; (10) successfully operate our Mexican facility to produce acrylic fiber precursor and carbon fibers; (11) resolve the pending non-public, fact-finding investigation being conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission; (12) successfully continue operations at our Hungarian facility if natural gas supply disruptions occur; (13) successfully prosecute patent litigation; (14) successfully implement and coordinate our alliance with Global Blade Technology; (15) successfully facilitate adoption of our carbon fibers by the auto industry for use in high-volume applications; and (16) manage the risks identified under "Risk Factors" in our filings with the SEC. Because forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, some of which cannot be predicted or quantified, you should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. The events and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements may not be achieved or occur and actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.

GlobeNewswire, Inc.2010

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