Shares of Virco Mfg Corp. soared 78 percent on Friday after the maker of institutional furniture reported 163 percent higher second-quarter net income on improved gross margins.

The Torrance company reported net income of $7.1 million (49 cents a share) for the quarter ended July 31, compared with $2.7 million (19 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue fell nearly 4 percent to $60.4 million.

Cost of sales fell 14 percent to $37.5 million. The company has worked to cut costs over the past year by lowering labor costs through an employee buyout plan and investments in manufacturing automation.

“While our second quarter revenue continue to reflect an uneven recovery in state and municipal funding for public schools, last year’s restructuring led to significantly improved financial results for the second quarter and first half of (this year),” Chief Executive Robert A. Virtue said in a letter to shareholders.

Shares closed up $1.20, or 78 percent, to $2.75 on the Nasdaq.

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