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Strengthening sales of its military knives helped Servotronics boost its third-quarter profits, the Elma motion control equipment and cutlery manufacturer said.

Servotronics’ profits improved to $358,000, or 16 cents per share, compared with a loss of $144,000, or 7 cents per share, a year ago, when the company was hit with a $450,000 loss from a pair of money-losing knife businesses that it dropped last year.

Excluding those losses, the company’s earnings from its continuing operations improved by 17 percent from $306,000 a year ago.

The company’s sales inched up by 3 percent to $7.7 million from $7.5 million as a 27 percent jump in revenues from its cutlery business offset a 5 percent dip in sales from its motion control equipment products.

The shutdown of Servotronics’ Aero Metal Products business and the sale of its Queen City Cutlery Co. subsidiary last year eliminated two businesses that accounted for a combined loss of $450,000 during the third quarter of 2012.

All of the improvement in profits during the third quarter came from the turnaround at Servotronics’ cutlery business, which makes knives for both military and recreational users. The knife business turned an operating profit of $49,000 during the quarter, compared with a loss of $105,000 a year ago. Servotronics executives said the increase in cutlery revenues stemmed mainly from higher sales of its military knives, which boosted the unit’s overall sales to $2.2 million from $1.7 million a year earlier.

Those gains were partly offset by a weaker performance by its Advanced Technology Group, which makes sophisticated motion control equipment for aerospace and military customers.

Earnings from Servotronics’ advanced technology business slid by 25 percent to $309,000 during the quarter, from $411,000 a year earlier, as sales dipped by 5 percent to $5.5 million from $5.8 million.

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