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Key Technology Announces Fiscal 2013 First Quarter Results

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Key Technology, Inc.
150 Avery St.
Walla Walla, WA, 99362
USA



Press release date: January 24, 2013

Strong Bookings and Record Backlog
Lower Net Sales and Net Loss Due to Timing of Shipments

WALLA WALLA, WA - Key Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: KTEC) announced today sales and operating results for the fiscal 2013 first quarter, ended December 31, 2012.

Net sales for the three months ended December 31, 2012 were $19.9 million, compared to the $26.0 million reported for the same quarter last year. The Company reported a net loss for the first quarter of $874,000, or $0.16 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $243,000, or $0.05 per diluted share, in the same period a year ago.

Gross profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 was $6.5 million compared to $8.6 million in the corresponding period last year, or 32.7% compared to 33.0%, respectively, of net sales.

"Our lower net sales and the net loss for the first quarter were consistent with our previously stated expectations, and primarily reflected the composition of our backlog and customer shipping schedules. At the same time, however, we were successful in maintaining our gross margin percentage for the quarter," said Jack Ehren, President and Chief Executive Officer of Key Technology, Inc.

Operating expenses for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 were $7.7 million, or 38.9% of net sales, compared to $8.8 million, or 33.8% of net sales, in the same quarter last year.

"We continued to realize the benefit of our prior-year third-quarter workforce reductions with significantly lower operating expenses, compared to the same quarter last year, while still positively positioning the company to execute on our long-term objectives," said Ehren.

At the close of the December 31, 2012 quarter, the Company's backlog was $49.3 million, compared to $37.0 million at the close of the corresponding period one year ago. New orders received during the fiscal 2013 first quarter were $38.1 million, compared to $26.6 million in the same period last year.

"The first quarter ending backlog set a company record with the largest quarterly ending backlog ever. New orders represented the second largest bookings quarter in the history of the company," Ehren commented. "Accordingly, we expect net sales and gross margins for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 to be noticeably improved compared to the prior-year period.

"I am proud of the entire Key Technology team for our continued execution toward our strategic objectives. We remain focused on improving short-term performance, while driving a sustainable, long-term, market-focused strategy," Ehren added.

Conference Call
The Company's conference call related to the fiscal 2013 first quarter results can be heard live on the Internet at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Thursday, January 24, 2013. To access the audio webcast, go to http://www.key.net/investors/investor-events/default.html at least fifteen minutes prior to the call to download and install any necessary audio software.

About Key Technology
Key Technology, Inc., headquartered in Walla Walla, Washington, is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of process automation systems for the food processing, industrial and pharmaceutical markets. The Company's products integrate electro-optical inspection and sorting, specialized conveying and product preparation equipment, which allows processors to improve quality, increase yield and reduce cost. Key has manufacturing facilities in Washington, Oregon, and the Netherlands, and worldwide sales and service coverage.

Financial Media Inquiries:
Evan Pondel or Laurie Berman
PondelWilkinson, Inc.
Tel: +1 310 279 5980
pwinvestor@pondel.com
www.pondel.com

Investor Inquiries:
Jack Ehren, President and CEO
Key Technology, Inc.
Tel: +1 509-394-3120
jehren@key.net
www.key.net
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