Sales flat for building materials at Boise

Boise Cascade Holdings has announced a $5.6 million net loss for its third fiscal quarter, which ended on Sept. 30, 2010. BC Holdings' building products subsidiary, Boise Cascade, L.L.C., reported third-quarter 2010 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $7.7 million. One-time earnings included a $4.6 million litigation settlement for Boise Cascade, L.L.C. in the third quarter. This compares with earnings of $11.9 million in the third quarter of 2009.

Building Materials Distribution (BMD) segment sales were $470.7 million in the third quarter, compared with $472.1 million a year ago. Prices for the segment were up approximately 9%; however, sales volumes declined, offsetting the benefit to revenues.

Quarterly earnings for the BMD division were $4.6 million, compared with $9.7 million in the corresponding period of 2009.

Wood Products segment sales in the third quarter were $183.4 million, up 12% from the same quarter a year ago. The sales increase was attributable primarily to 18% higher plywood sales volumes and 9% higher plywood sales prices. The main factor contributing to the improved financial performance was increased product pricing, most notably plywood.

Losses narrowed considerably during the third quarter for the wood products division, to $972,000 from $4.2 million in the same quarter last year.

"There were a few bright spots in the quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago, namely higher plywood sales volumes and modestly higher prices for most of the products we manufacture," said company CEO Tom Carlile. "However, the third quarter this year was largely a disappointment when compared with the seasonal demand strength of the third quarter in most years. We are expecting the difficult operating environment to continue at least through the coming winter months."

The company's outlook, as stated in its released earnings, was: "We expect to continue to experience below-normal demand for the products we distribute and manufacture. Industry commodity wood product prices will be volatile in response to operating rates and inventory levels in various distribution channels. We expect to manage our production levels to our sales demand, which will likely cause us to operate our facilities below their capacity."

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