Halifax Engineering Inc. of Alexandria said yesterday that growth in the division that maintains computer systems for the government and commercial clients helped push its profit up 275 percent in the fiscal first quarter ended June 30.
Halifax reported first-quarter earnings of $311,000 (26 cents a share), compared with $83,000 (7 cents) in the fiscal 1989 first quarter. Revenue fell 1.3 percent in the quarter, to $7.42 million from $7.52 million.
The electronics division, which maintains personal computers and related equipment for the Air Force, among other government agencies, was responsible for most of the gains because it has the most profitable contracts, Halifax spokesman Richard J. Smithson said.
Halifax's acquisition of Del Net, a local computer maintenance firm, and of the service businesses of Transtechnology Corp.'s Siderial division helped fuel that growth, Smithson said. Halifax's ability to maintain a variety of computer brands helps it win contracts from federal agencies that use different brands, he added.
Kitchen Bazaar Inc., the Rockville-based owner of a chain of Washington area stores that sell cookware, small appliances and kitchen supplies, said its loss widened in the fiscal first quarter ended June 30.
The company blamed the increased loss on the costs of opening new stores in the previous year, the absence of tax credits that had been available the year before and a generally slow retail environment.
Revenue rose 38 percent in the quarter, to $2.4 million from $1.7 million, thanks to the addition of five new Kitchen Bazaar stores. But the loss widened to $474,000 in the quarter from $203,000 in the fiscal 1989 first quarter.
Sales at stores open a year or more fell 8 percent, which Kitchen Bazaar attributed to the soft retail environment, an increase in competition and the effect of construction at two locations.