Highlight of Business Operations:Our average product sales per business day increased to $267 in the third quarter of fiscal year 2011, compared with $249 in the third quarter of fiscal year 2010. Our product sales per business day for each fiscal quarter during the fiscal years 2011 and 2010 are as follows:
In the third quarter of fiscal year 2011, sales through our direct channel increased 15.9% from the same period in the prior fiscal year. In addition to incremental revenue from United Scale of $0.5 million, direct sales to our traditional U.S., International and Canadian markets increased $1.5 million. These increases were partially offset by a decline in sales to wind energy industry customers of $0.3 million. Wind energy product sales, which represented 4.7% and 7.3% of our total product net sales in the third quarter of fiscal years 2011 and 2010, respectively, declined due to the timing of new construction projects for wind energy customers.
Customer product orders include orders for instruments that we routinely stock in our inventory, customized products, and other products ordered less frequently, which we do not stock. Pending product shipments are primarily backorders, but also include products that are requested to be calibrated in our laboratories prior to shipment, orders required to be shipped complete, and orders required to be shipped at a future date. Our total pending product shipments for the third quarter of fiscal year 2011 increased by $0.2 million when compared to the third quarter of fiscal year 2010. Pending product shipments in the third quarter of fiscal year 2011 included $0.2 million for United Scale, which was not applicable in the third quarter of fiscal year 2010. The portion of pending product shipments attributable to backorders increased by 260 basis points from the third quarter of fiscal year 2010 to the third quarter of fiscal year 2011. The increase was primarily due to a higher volume of orders placed for specialized items we do not routinely stock and the resulting longer lead times associated with those items. The following table presents the percentage of total pending product shipments that are backorders at the end of the third quarter of fiscal year 2011 and our historical trend of total pending product shipments:
Service revenue increased $0.7 million, or 10.3%, from the third quarter of fiscal year 2010 to the third quarter of fiscal year 2011. This growth can be attributed to expansion of our existing customer base and incremental revenue associated with United Scale of $0.4 million. Services provided to wind energy customers were relatively consistent quarter-over-quarter. Also, within any year, while we add new customers, we also have customers from the prior year whose calibrations may not repeat for any number of factors. Among those factors are variations in the timing of customer periodic calibrations on instruments and other services, customer capital expenditures and customer outsourcing decisions. Because the timing of calibration orders and segment expenses can vary on a quarter-to-quarter basis, we believe a trailing twelve month trend provides a better indication of the progress of this segment. Service segment revenue for the twelve months ended December 25, 2010 was $31.2 million, up 20.8% when compared with $25.9 million for the twelve months ended December 26, 2009. Our fiscal years 2011 and 2010 service revenue growth in relation to prior fiscal year quarter comparisons are as follows:
Read the The complete Report