CHATTANOOGA, TN. (Times Free Press) -- Chattanooga-based Astec Industries reported a 38 percent jump in fourth-quarter sales and grew profit to $8 million, an increase of $2 million from the fourth quarter of 2010.

Astec, which manufactures equipment for mining and road construction, said Tuesday it sold almost $1 billion worth of machinery during the year, a sign that it is emerging from the worldwide recession that gripped the heavy construction industry for several years.

For the fourth quarter of 2011, the company boosted sales to $263.2 million, up from $190.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Astec's earnings during the fourth quarter of 35 cents per share were bolstered in part by the growth of international sales, which increased to $116 million in the fourth quarter. International sales expanded to 44 percent of Astec's sales, up from 37 percent of all sales in the fourth quarter of 2010.

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