Erickson: Loss in 2nd quarter, but revenue up

Erickson Air-Crane reported a second-quarter loss of $2 million on Monday, despite an 81 percent jump in revenue to $68.6 million.

Revenue was driven by infrastructure construction and timber harvesting, while firefighting revenue fell in comparison with a hefty second quarter during 2012.

Erickson's primary maintenance and manufacturing operations for its signature Sikorsky heavy-lift helicopters is on Willow Springs Road outside Central Point.

Chief Executive Officer Udo Rieder told analysts Monday the company has worked quickly to integrate recently purchased Evergreen Helicopters into its overall plan, and looks forward to the additional capability afforded when a deal to acquire Brazilian-based Air Amazonia is closed in a few months.

"Operationally, we executed very well, maintained a strong safety record, increased fleet utilization, increased maintenance levels for the Evergreen Helicopters fleet and are making substantial progress on the integration of the two businesses," Rieder said.

Rieder said the company is working to return to operation Evergreen aircraft that have been grounded, which will allow it to reduce financial penalties incurred because Evergreen wasn't able to meet commitments. With more helicopters in the air, he said, revenue will grow as well.

"The biggest challenge," Rieder said, "is how quickly we are able to reduce penalties through infusing more cash and inventory."

Erickson has operated in North America, southern Europe, Asia and Australia for decades. It has established a foothold in the Amazon and Rieder said the company, which now operates heavy, medium and light helicopters, will begin bidding on African contracts as well.

"We are pursuing opportunities and as they come up we will be serious contenders," he said.

Rieder said Erickson will have capital expenditures of $40 million this year, including $5 million on an S-64 helicopter presently in the Central Point hangar.

Erickson shares closed down 5 cents on Monday at $18.41.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness.

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