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Scientific Atlanta posts profit

LAWRENCEVILLE - Scientific Atlanta Inc. said its first-quarter net income increased 9 percent based on strong sales in Europe, Canada and Latin America.

The Lawrenceville-based maker of TV set-top boxes and other cable equipment said it posted a $60.7 million profit, or 39 cents a share, in the July to September period.

That topped the company's first-quarter performance in the same months a year ago, when it posted $55.9 in net income, or 36 cents per share.

Sales climbed 8 percent to $490 million, and international sales peaked at $134.5 million - the highest level in the company's history. Scientific Atlanta offset lower sales in Asia by doing strong business in Europe, Canada and Latin America.

The company shipped 362,000 high-definition set-tops, and the 465,000 digital video recorders sold in the first quarter were up 17 percent from last year at this time.

Scientific Atlanta is one of Gwinnett's largest employers and was a forerunner of today's established high-tech sector.

In a prepared statement, Scientific Atlanta CEO Jim McDonald said "were pleased with the first quarter, in which bookings, sales and earnings grew from a year ago. We are encouraged that our growth initiatives with telephone companies and with international service providers are making substantial contributions."

McDonald added that Scientific Atlanta needs to use its cash more productively.

"For the past several quarters, we have been unable to repurchase our shares," McDonald said.

The problem stems from the company having "material nonpublic information related to certain issues," but the company should be able to resolve the problem by the end of this year, he said.