Ron Schad, president & CEO of Essex, stated, "The first quarter was a busy and productive period for Essex. While utilization of crawler cranes declined slightly on a sequential quarterly basis, it significantly improved when compared to the same period in the prior year. The marginal decline in utilization on a sequential quarterly basis is due to seasonality, the completion of stimulus-funded construction projects, and the conclusion of certain levee contracts. However, we did experience a modest sequential increase in average rental rates of crawler cranes compared to the fourth quarter of 2010. As previously announced, we completed the acquisition of Coast Crane's assets in late November, 2010. To date, we are pleased with the quality of people at Coast Crane, and believe that their strengths have been exhibited while transitioning through the realignment of its management team. While there are short term challenges associated with any acquisition, we are encouraged by the early indications including the steady increase in rental equipment utilization of the rental assets that make up the majority of our investment in Coast Crane, the stability of its parts and service business, and the new distribution agreements that we have put in place. We continue to believe that we have an excellent opportunity to capitalize on Coast Crane's market position to generate highly attractive shareholder returns."
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