PORTLAND, OR - Flir Systems Inc. announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009. Revenue was $272 million, up 15% compared to first quarter 2008 revenue of $236.9 million. Operating income in the quarter was $83.4 million, up 51% from $55.1 million in the first quarter of 2008. First quarter 2009 net income was $54.3 million, or $0.35 per diluted share, compared with net income of $36.5 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, in the first quarter a year ago. Cash provided by operations during the quarter was $74.3 million.
Revenue from the company's Government Systems division increased 43% over the first quarter of 2008, to $162.2 million, driven by strength in airborne applications. Revenue from the Company's Commercial Vision Systems division increased 5% over the first quarter of last year, to $45.9 million, reflecting growth in the security and surveillance and cores and components markets. Revenue from the company's Thermography division decreased 20% from the first quarter of last year, to $63.9 million, primarily due to changes in exchange rates and lower demand for high-value products for the predictive maintenance market in the U.S. Excluding the effect of exchange rates, Thermography revenue decreased 10% in the quarter. Thermography unit volumes increased by 44% in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the prior year.
The company's backlog of firm orders for delivery within the next twelve months was approximately $617 million at March 31, 2009, a decrease of $46 million during the quarter, and an increase of $146 million, or 31% compared with backlog at March 31, 2008. Backlog in the Government System's division was $504 million, down $48 million during the quarter. Backlog in the Commercial Vision Systems division was $95 million, up $4 million during the quarter, while backlog in the Thermography division was $18 million, down $1 million during the quarter.
"We are very pleased with our performance in the first quarter. We recorded solid revenue growth, excellent earnings growth, and the highest gross margin and operating margin in the company's history," notes Earl Lewis, president and CEO. "We achieved this performance through solid execution in a difficult economy, as all three divisions improved gross margins and operating margins compared with the prior year. Economic conditions and government order activity in the second quarter will be important factors in our performance for the remainder of 2009 and into 2010. As a result, we are reaffirming our revenue and earnings per share outlook for the year."