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MailTribune.com
  • Acquisitions eat into Erickson 4th-quarter profit

  • The cost of growth bit into the bottom line for helicopter operator Erickson, which Thursday reported a fourth-quarter 2013 loss of $1.7 million, nearly double its $949,000 setback a year earlier.
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  • The cost of growth bit into the bottom line for helicopter operator Erickson, which Thursday reported a fourth-quarter 2013 loss of $1.7 million, nearly double its $949,000 setback a year earlier.
    Erickson, which dropped Air-Crane from its corporate name last month, saw its 2013 profit decline 22 percent to $9.7 million from $12.4 million in 2012.
    The company, which manufactures and repairs heavy-lift helicopters in Central Point, saw its fourth-quarter revenue jump 137 percent during the quarter to $92.5 million. For all of 2013, revenue grew 76 percent to $318.2 million from $180.8 million for all of 2012.
    Erickson also announced a four-year contract with Hunt Oil and said its energy exploration and extraction projects will play a larger role in future operations as military-support opportunities decline.
    "We expect to leverage the strength of our comprehensive aviation services platform in 2014 to secure business with new customers and to offset significant but anticipated declines in defense spending in Afghanistan," CEO Udo Rieder told analysts on a conference call Thursday.
    Last year, the company purchased Air Amazonia Serviços Aeronauticos Ltda and Evergreen International Aviation's helicopter unit. It lost $3.4 million on the sale of a note related to its acquisition of Evergreen's helicopter unit.
    "We finished the year with a strong fourth quarter and have made great progress along a number of dimensions," Rieder said. "We have substantially completed the integration of our two acquisitions and greatly improved our operational performance for our government customers.
    Erickson saw intensified operations in Australia and Turkey, but had crew declines in Italy during the quarter.
    Rieder said the deal providing support for Hunt Oil's operations in Peru will provide opportunities to use an S-64F aircrane for transportation of drilling equipment and a Bell 214ST helicopter for passenger and cargo transport.
    Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness, friend him on Facebook and read his blog at www.mailtribune.com/EconomicEdge.
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