Hanger Orthopedic Group of Bethesda last week acquired ABI Orthotic-Prosthetic Laboratories, which has four plants in Ohio and one in Pennsylvania.

"We are very excited to be partnering with ABI in these markets, and together we will focus on our goal of clinical excellence," said Ivan R. Sabel, chairman and chief executive of Hanger.

ABI had sales of about $3.3 million last year, Hanger said. The price of the acquisition was not disclosed.

Hanger, which provides orthotic and prosthetic products and services, has 578 patient-care centers in 44 states and the District.

Virginia

Primus Telecommunications Group reported a loss of $26.7 million (41 cents a share) on slightly lower revenue of $260.5 million during its third quarter. That compares to revenue of $272.2 million and net income of $46.1 million (88 cents a share), which included a $99 million gain from the early extinguishment of debt.

Last year, the company had closed or sold off some of its less-profitable businesses, which caused its revenue to decline to about $1 billion a year from $1.2 billion a year. Since then, over the past three quarters, Primus's revenue has increased. "We added 350,000 new customers this quarter, or about 14 percent," both residential and business customers, said John F. DePodesta, executive vice president of Primus. The McLean company, which sells international Internet and voice communications, said its operating income is improving, while the company continues to cut costs.

Maryland

Optelecom, a Gaithersburg telecommunications equipment maker, received money from the state of Maryland to back its loan to construct a building in Germantown.

The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development guaranteed $250,000 of a $2 million credit line the company has from Allfirst Bank. Optelecom plans to build a 30,000-square-foot building in Germantown.

The state's money for the project came from the Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority program that reduces a lender's risk in a project.

Optelecom, which was started in 1972, makes devices for monitoring highway traffic, video monitor displays used in air traffic control, and security systems.

Its customers include BAE Systems, Boeing, Emerson, Honeywell, L3 Communications, Lucent and Raytheon.

"MIDFA's backing of our financing will enable us to build state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities while preserving as much of our resources as possible for product development," said James Armstrong, Optelecom's chief financial officer.

The District

Scientific American magazine named 50 people or companies making outstanding contributions in the past year to science and technology. The awards, chosen by the magazine's editors, are to appear in the magazine's December issue. The prizes, which the magazine plans to give annually, honor scientists, business leaders, policy leaders, businesses and organizations.

Washington area winners include:

* XM Satellite Radio Holdings of Washington, which was named as the leading communications company for launching the first national satellite radio service.

* S. William Becker, the executive director of the State and Territorial Air Pollution Program Administrators, described as a prime mover behind one of the most important environmental accomplishments of 2002. Becker led a coalition that persuaded the EPA to maintain plans for a 95 percent cut in diesel truck emissions.

* Sen. Jon S. Corzine (D-N.J.), who legislated for higher security and safety standards at industrial facilities to defend against terrorism.

* Lt. Gen. John Riggs, director of the Army Objective Force Task Force, who has been a highly influential advocate of more sophisticated, high-tech warfare.

* Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.), a former plasma physicist whois spearheading efforts to reinstate the Congressional Advisory Office of Technology Assessment.