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Tax benefit lifts NN 4Q profit but sales slump

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) -- A tax benefit helped lift NN Inc. fourth-quarter profit 67 percent, but the industrial parts maker said that weak demand from auto customers in Europe and Asia dented its sales. It doesn't expect any improvement in its European business this year.

The Johnson City, Tenn.-based company said Monday that profit came to $8.2 million, or 48 cents per share, in the October-December quarter, up from $4.9 million, or 29 cents per share, in the same period the year before.

The most recent quarter included a $7.3 million gain from a tax benefit, and interest expense also fell by more than half.

Excluding one-time items, quarterly profit fell to 16 cents per share from 21 cents per share the year before.

Revenue fell 17 percent to $80.2 million from $96.3 million. The company said the drop in demand for its products deepened during the fourth quarter.

For all of 2012, profit grew 16 percent to $24.3 million, or $1.42 per share, while revenue fell 13 percent to $370.1 million.

NN said it expects 2013 revenue of $365 million to $375 million. The guidance assumes no improvement in European demand during the year. The company said that while continued economic uncertainty makes it hard to predict sales for 2013, first-quarter demand so far has been higher than expected.

Europe is struggling with high unemployment and a debt crisis in several countries.

Shares dropped 26 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $9.11 in Monday morning trading.