McLEAN, VA--North American manufacturers of industrial lasers posted worldwide sales of more than $152.4 million during the first quarter of 2001, a decrease of 10 percent compared with sales from the first quarter of 2000.

According to the Laser Systems Product Group of the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), sales within North America totaled $105.3 million, while exports amounted to $47.1 million. Sales of CO2 lasers were down 20 percent, while sales of Nd:YAG lasers increased 1 percent. In fact, 50 percent of the lasers sold were the Nd:YAG variety.

More than 85 percent of sales were complete systems (a laser source and a workstation), and 45 percent of the lasers sold were for cutting applications.

The AMT's data come from a quarterly survey of 47 North American suppliers of laser equipment.