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E&E trims losses, but revenues still slide

Ecology & Environment lost money again during the second quarter, but not nearly as much as it did a year ago as the Lancaster environmental services firms kept slashing its operating costs while revenues continued to decline.

E&E said it lost $152,331, or 4 cents per share, during the quarter that ended in January, down sharply from a loss of $784,648, or 18 cents per share, a year earlier.

E&E, which was profitable during the first quarter, has lost money during four of its last five quarters, prompting it to reshape its business after being battered by failed excursions into the Chinese markets and a bloated cost structure that led to losses during each of the past two fiscal years as its sales dropped by 24 percent over a three-year period.

E&E also has slashed its work force by about 30 percent since the summer of 2012, including a 5 percent reduction in its 1,000-person staff since last July.

The company’s sales continued to weaken during the second quarter, sliding by 3 percent to $28.2 million from $29.1 million. Excluding the cost of subcontractors, E&E’s revenues fell by 3 percent as the company’s domestic sales from the government, commercial, asbestos inspection and mining sectors weakened.

E&E’s U.S. sales fell by 5 percent to $17.6 million from $18.5 million. The company’s foreign revenues were flat at $10.6 million.

In response, E&E slashed its operating expenses by 10 percent during the second quarter, saving $2.4 million.