Our inland barge business obtain a good mix of orders in the first quarter that extended production into 2013. Demand was driven by several factors including the need to transport oil associated with shale, exploration and production.
Our energy equipment group reported a loss during the first quarter. The results were due to lingering issues associated with challenges in our wind tower manufacturing business. The wind energy as a whole is continuing to work through a number fundamental issue that are affecting demand for wind towers.
We continue to dedicate management time and company resources to enhancing our manufacturing platform for wind towers, so that it can respond effectively to changes in customer demand.
While the financial performance reflects a lack of improvement thus far, I believe we are making important strides to improve in this area. Antonio will provide more additional information during his remarks.Our construction products businesses are building momentum as they enter the early part of the construction season.Our highway products business is continue to experience consistency in demand for products due to the lack of long-term that will Highway funding. We expect levels of uncertainty associated with Highway funding will persist until our political leaders passed a multiyear transportation bill.Overall our first quarter performance reflects the strength of our multi-industry platform, the benefits provided by our market leadership positions and our commitment to operational excellence in that talents and hard work of our people. The trend lines in most of our businesses indicate another solid year of growth for the company.I will now turn it over to Steve Menzies for his comments.Steve MenziesThank you, Tim. Good morning. First quarter operating results for the Rail Group and Leasing Group reflect improved operating leverage amidst steady railcar demand. Our Rail Group posted an operating profit of $40.1 million during the first quarter of 2012, a 16% increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2011 and 332 -- 330% increase compared to the first quarter of 2011. The dollar value of our railcar order backlog remain virtually unchanged at the end of the first quarter, despite a slight decline in total units.Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com
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