Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense, consumer electronics and semiconductor industries, released that consolidated sales increased US$60.6m to US$166.1m, compared with the same period in the prior year. The 2014 fourth quarter included US$43.7m in incremental sales for acquired businesses. Organic sales increased US$16.9m, or 16.1%. Aerospace segment sales increased US$25.9m to US$128.6m and Test Systems segment sales increased US$34.7m to US$37.5m. Consolidated gross margin was 25.6% compared with 23.9% in the fourth quarter of 2013. Margins expanded on leverage achieved from increased organic sales volume and lower expense related to the fair value step-up of inventory from acquired businesses which was somewhat offset by higher engineering and development (“E&D”) costs. Expense related to the fair value step-up of inventory from acquired businesses was US$0.8m and US$3.5m in the 2014 and 2013 fourth quarters, respectively. E&D costs were US$19.7m, which included US$3.8m for acquired businesses. E&D costs in the prior year’s fourth quarter were US$14.3m.