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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 $26.3 million for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020, compared with $30.1 million for the third quarter of 2019.
Operating income for the third quarter of 2020 was $2.7 million which includes a gain on sale of property and equipment of $3.8 million; this compares with operating income of $0.7 million for the third quarter of 2019. Net income for the third quarter of 2020 was $2.0 million, or $0.73 per diluted common share. This compares with net income for the third quarter of 2019 of $0.4 million, or $0.16 per diluted common share. Nortech's backlog at the end of the third quarter 2020 was $45.8 million.
The Company closed on sale and leaseback agreements with Essjay Investment Company, LLC relating to the Company's manufacturing facilities in Bemidji and Mankato, Minnesota during the third quarter of 2020. The Company received net proceeds from the sale, excluding closing costs, of approximately $6.0 million and recorded a gain on sale of property of equipment of $3.8 million. The Company entered into a lease agreement for the Bemidji, Minnesota facility and the Mankato, Minnesota facility for an initial 15-year term, with multiple 5-year renewal options.
The Nortech Merrifield production facility consolidation is on track and expected to be complete on or before December 31, 2020. By the end of 2020, the Company will shift nearly all of its Printed Circuit Board (PCB) manufacturing to its Mankato, Minnesota production facility, Nortech's PCB center of excellence, and much of its complex wire and cable assembly production to its Bemidji, Minnesota production facility, Nortech's wire and cable assembly center of excellence. This consolidation is impacting approximately 60 employees, who have been offered positions at other Nortech facilities in Minnesota and given outplacement assistance.
"Although our third quarter revenue, gross profit and backlog have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are pleased with our recent improving bookings trend, and the strides we have proactively made to improve our financial liquidity with our sale and leaseback closing, the PPP loan and the plant consolidation continuing as planned. We expect this will allow us to operate through the current COVID-19 pandemic, invest in the business, create positive momentum for 2021, and succeed long term," stated Jay D. Miller, Chief Executive Officer and President.