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E&E's profits fall 40 percent despite higher sales

Ecology & Environment's first-quarter profits fell by 40 percent as a slowdown in its U.S. environmental services work offset a rebound in its South American business.

The Lancaster environmental services firm said its profits fell to $533,000, or 12 cents per share, during the quarter that ended in October, down from $888,000, or 21 cents per share, a year earlier.

The rebound in South America pushed E&E's revenue up by 7 percent to $27.1 million from $25.3 million. But E&E executives also said its U.S. business, which accounts for about 70 percent of its revenue, was hurt by companies taking longer to award contracts for environmental work and then taking longer to carry it out. This summer's hurricanes also disrupted work on some projects.

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