LP widens loss in fourth quarter, but sales rise

Nashville, Tenn.-based Louisiana-Pacific finished out a tough year for builders with fourth-quarter losses of $39 million, deeper than the $25 million in losses the company saw in last year’s fourth quarter. Sales for the fourth quarter were $376.6 million, up 2.3 percent from $368.2 million in the same period last year.

For the year, the lumber giant swung to a loss of $167 million from $123.7 million in earnings in 2006. Sales for 2007 were $1.7 billion, down 22.3 percent from $2.19 billion last year.

Rick Frost, CEO for Louisiana-Pacific, said 2008 will be another year marked by a “tough business environment.”

“Double-digit declines in new home construction, acceleration of the mortgage crisis and parity of the Canadian dollar to the U.S. dollar all negatively affected our operating results," Frost explained. "We responded to this difficult, worse-than-expected environment by managing our inventories to expected takeaway levels ... and aggressive sales and marketing efforts to win new customers."

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