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E&E's profits jump 44 percent as cost cuts offset sales dip

Ecology & Environment's third-quarter profits jumped 44 percent as the Lancaster-based environmental services firm's cost-cutting efforts and sharply lower income tax expenses offset a 4 percent drop in sales.

E&E said it earned $252,000, or 6 cents per share, during the quarter that ended in April, up from $175,000, or 4 cents per share, a year ago.

While the company's cost-cutting efforts helped its operating profits nearly double, that improvement was offset by $550,000 in expenses stemming from a proxy contest launched by an investor seeking two seats on E&E's board. E&E reached an agreement just before the shareholder vote to give the investor the two seats it was seeking.

E&E's tax bill also dropped by 62 percent, or more than $400,000, mainly because of a lower tax rate associated with its South American operations.

E&E's sales fell to $24.2 million, as a 6 percent drop in U.S. revenues was partly offset by a 4 percent increase in international sales, which was entirely due to improvement in its Brazilian operations.

Investment banker Marshall Heinberg, who joined the company's board of directors this year, has been named E&E's chairman.

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