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Columbus McKinnon’s fourth-quarter profits jumped nearly fivefold as a big gain from a revaluation of its tax position more than offset earnings from its operations that were slightly weaker than analysts were expecting.

The Amherst manufacturer of material-handling equipment also said its operations became more profitable during the quarter because of the company’s continuing efforts to boost productivity and efficiency. That helped the company boost its profits from its operations, even though sales fell by 9 percent, mainly because of the sale of a crane business last summer and three fewer shipping days during the latest quarter.

Columbus McKinnon’s profits soared to $52 million, or $2.67 per share, from $9 million, or 47 cents per share, a year ago, with nearly all of the increase coming from a $40.2 million gain that the company booked because of a revaluation of its tax allowances. Without that gain, the company’s earnings grew to 37 cents per share, from 30 cents a year ago. That’s a penny less than analysts were forecasting.

The company’s sales dipped to $144.6 million during the quarter that ended in March, compared with $159.6 million a year earlier. Columbus McKinnon’s U.S. sales slipped by 6 percent, while its international revenues dropped by 14 percent.

Its stock closed down 7 cents, or 0.37 percent, to $18.94 Thursday.

email: drobinson@buffnews.com