UFP swings to loss in first quarter

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Universal Forest Products (UFP) posted first-quarter 2011 net sales of $387.2 million, down 1.5% from net sales of $393.0 million in the same period of 2010.

UFP posted a net loss of $3.7 million compared with net earnings of $1.0 million for the first quarter of 2010.

"We are not satisfied with our results this quarter, but we know that our business was affected by challenging external factors, and we have reason for optimism for the balance of the year," said CEO Michael B. Glenn. "We expect a more stable market this year and have improved performance expectations, particularly in the back half of the year."

Among the key factors that hurt sales and profitability, according to the company, were major winter storms in January and February, plus a dramatic run in lumber prices in early 2010 that boosted margins in the year-ago quarter. 

The company is encouraged by the continued strength of the industrial market, Glenn said.

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