Canton steel maker TimkenSteel on Thursday reported first-quarter net sales of $380.8 million compared to $309.4 million for the same period a year ago, a 23.1 percent increase.

“The year is off to a good start. We improved lead times, reduced past-due orders, won new business for differentiated products and realized improvements in our financial performance,” said Tim Timken, chairman, CEO and president, in a news release.

The company reported a net loss of $1.9 million, or 4 cents per share, in the first quarter compared to net loss of $5.3 million, or 12 cents per share, for the same quarter a year ago.

TimkenSteel shipped about 300,000 tons in the first quarter, up 7.1 percent from a year ago.

Shipments are expected to be between 5 percent and 10 percent higher in the second quarter, with net income projected to be between $8 million and $18 million.