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Nortech Systems Incorporated, a leading provider of engineering and manufacturing solutions for complex electromedical and electromechanical products serving the medical, aerospace & defense and industrial markets, reported net sales of $29.5 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2021, an increase of 11.7% compared to $26.4 million for the third quarter of 2020. The revenue improvement was primarily due to higher production volume resulting from actions to scale the direct labor workforce and strengthen the supply chain for parts. Net income for third quarter 2021 was $3.6 million and $1.24 per diluted share compared to a net income of $2.0 million and $0.73 per diluted share for the third quarter of 2020.
In May 2021 Nortech announced that it planned to apply for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) to support ongoing investment in Nortech's frontline workforce to drive increased manufacturing output to meet our customers' rising demand. The Company has filed an application for the ERC with the IRS and recognized $5.2 million reduction to payroll tax expense in the fiscal third quarter of 2021. The Company has not received funds as of the date of this press release.
Operating results from the third quarter of 2020 included a $3.8 million gain on the sale and leaseback transaction for its Bemidji and Mankato, Minnesota manufacturing facilities. Proceeds from the sale-leaseback in August 2020 were used to pay down bank debt.
"Nortech's bookings continue to be strong resulting in another record backlog. Meanwhile, our operations team has been improving the supply chain to deliver high quality parts to our customers while optimizing our investment in working capital," said Jay D. Miller, Chief Executive Officer and President. "We expect improved results in the fourth quarter and our $79 million backlog represents an encouraging vote of confidence from our customers that bodes well for growth throughout 2022. Finally, I'm very enthusiastic about the innovative new technologies Nortech has been developing that will help our customers compete better and stay on the cutting edge of new digital data opportunities in 2023 and beyond."