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Ecology & Environment reports sharp improvement in earnings Hurricane relief efforts brought in $3.5 million

Ecology & Environment's profits improved sharply during the second quarter as the Lancaster-based environmental services firm's work on Gulf Coast hurricane cleanup projects bolstered its sales.

E&E's profits of $629,000, or 15 cents per share, were at the low end of the range that company President Gerhard J. Neumaier had forecast during the firm's annual shareholders meeting in January, but they were a vast improvement from the $1.8 million loss of a year ago.

The company's stock, which has rallied over the last year as E&E's profits have rebounded, tumbled by 8 percent on Tuesday, sliding by 90 cents to $9.95.

E&E officials on Tuesday attributed the improvement to the shutdown of the company's money-losing testing laboratory in Lancaster in January 2005, as well as the added work that the firm picked up aiding relief efforts for hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

E&E's revenues rose by 14 percent to $19.9 million during the quarter that ended in January, compared with $17.4 million a year earlier. While the shutdown of the testing lab cut revenues by $867,000 from last year, the hurricane relief efforts brought in $3.5 million in sales during the quarter.

While company officials said the hurricane relief work will decline during the current quarter, they said E&E may have other opportunities to gain work in the region as new concerns arise about issues such as wetlands damage or other coastal area impacts.

e-mail: drobinson@buffnews.com

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