SANTA ROSA -- Agilent Technology's Electronic Measurement Group had a "fantastic" first quarter, according to President Ron Nersesian.

"We broke decade records in a lot of areas," he said.

The group headquartered in Santa Rosa had revenues of $771 million, up from $629 million in the first quarter of 2010, and orders of $797 million, compared with orders of $642 million for the same period last year.

"Organic growth was 26 percent, and we had the highest operating margins in 10 years: 26 percent," said Mr. Nersesian.

Gross margins for the group were 59.5 percent, he said.

"We're ready to ramp up hiring and form a weekend shift to keep up with orders."

All Agilent employees will receive a bonus of 14 percent in June, the first of two annual bonuses.

"That's the highest bonus the company has paid in quite awhile," said Mr. Nersesian.

Strongest growth for Electronic Measurements was in China, but the Japanese market also grew despite the Tsunami and expectations that orders would drop off.

In the U.S. federal budget delays and worries hampered the aerospace segment of the group, bur "we expect things to pick up now that the matter has been resolved," he said.

Overall Agilent saw non-GAAP net income of $212 million, or $0.60 per share for the quarter, an increase of 25 percent over the first quarter of 2010.

"We're very pleased with our performance, but right now all of our hopes and prayers are directed toward our injured employee," said Mr. Nersesian, referring to a worker who suffered serious burns in a laboratory accident several weeks ago.

Agilent employs 1,100 in its Santa Rosa location.