BlueLinx Holdings swings to loss

The Atlanta-based building products distributor posted a net loss of $3.2 million in the third quarter.

Amid numerous restructuring programs, Atlanta-based distributor BlueLinx Holdings posted a net loss of $3.2 million in the third quarter ended Sept. 28. In the same quarter last year, the company posted earnings of $3.1 million.

Revenues for the fiscal third quarter increased 12.3% to $558.0 million from $496.8 million for the same period a year ago. Overall unit volume increased 11.9% compared with the same period a year ago.

Gross profit for the fiscal third quarter totaled $62.5 million, up 3.2% from $60.5 million in the year-ago period. Gross margins were 11.2% compared with 12.2% a year ago. Overall gross margins were impacted by a higher mix of lower-margin structural sales, low margin sales related to the closure of five distribution centers, and a highly competitive pricing environment. Same center gross margins were 11.5% compared with 12.1% a year ago.

"The implementation of the company's previously announced restructuring program is proceeding as planned, and sales and operational initiatives are having a positive impact," said BlueLinx executive chairman Howard Cohen. "Despite the restructuring this quarter, the company achieved a significant improvement in same center results. We have regained sales growth momentum in higher margin specialty products, which grew 11.7% on a same center basis and increased the company's adjusted EBITDA by $3.3 million or 118%.”

Cohen also said efforts to reduce costs and simplify the organization helped improve same-center performance.

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