Conrad Industries Inc. announced today that its net loss for 2017 was $2.1 million.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2017, Conrad had a net loss of $3.4 million and loss per diluted share of 67 cents. This compares to a net loss of $836,000 and loss per diluted share of 15 cents during the fourth quarter of 2016. The Morgan City, La.-based company had net loss of $2.1 million and loss per diluted share of 42 cents for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2017. That compares to a net loss of $1.7 million and loss per diluted share of 33 cents for 2016. Results for the quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2017, include a $1.3 million income tax benefit, primarily attributable to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which resulted in a one-time revaluation of certain tax-related assets and liabilities to reflect their value at a lower corporate tax rate.

New business added during the first quarter of 2018 included the signing of $35.2 million in contracts which brings Conrad's estimated current backlog to approximately $107 million. This compares to backlogs of $111.3 million on Dec. 31, 2017, $216.5 million on Dec. 31, 2016, and $211.8 million at December 31, 2015. New contracts added during the first quarter include four 30,000-bbl. tank barges, two LPG tank barges, four spud barges, three 24,000-bbl. adiponitrile barges and two anchor barges.

“Our 2017 and 2016 operating results were affected by losses of $11.9 million and $13.2 million, respectively, on the LNG bunker barge," Johnny Conrad, president and CEO, said in a statement. "Despite the losses we have incurred on the construction of the LNG barge, we believe that we have developed the resources to establish ourselves as a leader in LNG marine-related construction in North America. During 2017 our new construction segment continued to be adversely affected by a soft market for energy transportation, increased pricing pressure, and low demand for large barge project orders, while our repair and conversion segment continued to be impacted by low oil prices and depressed Gulf of Mexico activity. These factors had a negative impact on our operating results in 2017, and they may continue to impact our operations during 2018.”

Conrad said he expects 2018 to be another challenging year, but is optimistic about the the company's long-term business prospects. "We have met these types of challenges in the past, and we remain confident that with our talented and dedicated employees, strong balance sheet and diversified customer base we can effectively respond to changing market conditions.”

Conrad, established in 1948, designs, builds and overhauls tugs, ferries, liftboats, barges, offshore supply vessels and other vessels for the commercial and government markets. The company provides both repair and new construction services at its five shipyards located in southern Louisiana and Texas.

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.