Thiokol Corp.'s profits rose 58 percent to $32.8 million in the third quarter, and the maker of solid rocket boosters said a focus on customer service, product quality and cost reduction was the reason.

The chief executive said Thiokol, which makes rocket motors for aerospace, defense and commercial uses, is on its way to a record earnings year after posting profits of 87 cents per share in the third quarter on a fully diluted basis. The quarter ended March 31.Profits in the same period last year were $20.8 million, or 56 cents per share after adjustment for a recent two-for-one stock split.

Sales in the third quarter were up 148 percent to $562.7 million.