Hoping it is the beginning of a turnaround, Environmental Elements Corp. announced yesterday that it had received six contracts worth $20 million for air pollution control systems.
"We're cautiously optimistic," said John S. Lalley Jr., a spokesman for the Baltimore-based maker of air pollution control devices. "The market shows signs of im
proving, but it's too early to say there is a full rebound," he said.
Environmental Elements, which has a work force of 256 and annual sales of $72.6 million in the fiscal year that ended March 31, has lost money in the last two years as the result of a sluggish market for the company's equipment.
The new orders boost the company's backlog from about $40 million to close to $60 million, Mr. Lalley said. But more sales are necessary to pull the company out of the red.
"It's going to take more of the same to get us out of the woods," he said.
The company's stock closed yesterday at $4.375 a share, unchanged.
Of the new work, two contracts worth $10 million came from joint power plant projects of Texas Utilities Electric Co. and Sargent & Lundy Engineers; and Mississippi Power Co. and Southern Co. Services. Three contracts, worth $6 million, were for a U.S. pulp and paper mill, a Canadian waste wood-fired cogeneration facility, and a coal-fired steam boiler.
The company also received a $4 million contract from Birwelco Ltd. of England -- Environmental Elements' first British air pollution control contract.