LUMBERYARDS

Huttig Building Products shows growth in Q2

BY HBSDealer Staff

St. Louis-based Huttig Building Products reported second quarter sales of $148.9 million, up from $137.8 million in the same quarter last year.

Net income also showed an increase in the three months ended June 30 — up from $1.6 million last year to $2.6 million. 

Huttig distributes building products through 27 distribution centers serving 41 states. Customers are building material dealers, national buying groups, home centers and others.

The company said in its 10-Q filing that the historical downturn in new residential construction is seeing modest improvement, but the downturn is expected to "adversely affect our operating results throughout 2013."  

The company added: "We believe that through our aggressive restructuring and ongoing cost control activities, we are able to mitigate the impact of the severe downturn in the housing market on our operations, while providing a more scalable cost structure to support future growth opportunities."

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Plum Creek benefits from early stages of housing recovery

BY HBSDEALER Staff

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Sales and earnings increased for Plum Creek Timber Co. in the second quarter ended June 30.

Revenues increased 3.1% to $303 million. Earnings increased to $46 million, up from $36 million in the second quarter of 2012. 

“Each of our business segments performed well during the second quarter,” said Rick Holley, CEO. “We are experiencing fundamental demand improvement and better pricing; although, we remain in the very early stages of the housing recovery. As the industry adjusts to this change in the demand environment, regional markets we serve are recovering at different rates.”

He added that the company’s geographic diversity allows it to act and capitalize on strong local markets. 

Improving production trends for lumber and structural panels are expected to result in greater demand and higher pricing for sawlogs as the housing recovery continues to advance. Sawlog prices during the second half of 2013 are expected to be higher than the prices for the second half of 2012 in all regions. 

The company continues to expect to harvest 17.5 million to 18 million tons of timber this year.  

Operating profit in the Southern Resources segment was $23 million, up $1 million from the $22 million reported for second quarter of 2012. Higher prices for both sawlogs and pulpwood offset lower harvest volumes. Sawlog prices increased $1 per ton, or 5%, and pulpwood prices increased $1 per ton, or 10%, compared with the second quarter of 2012. Overall the Southern harvest declined about 500,000 tons, or 14%, compared with the second quarter of 2012. While the company’s full-year 2013 Southern harvest is planned to be similar to 2012’s harvest level, the 2013 harvest is weighted to the second half of the year to capture the expected improvement in log prices. 

The Real Estate segment reported revenue of $53 million and operating income of $30 million in the second quarter of 2013. Second-quarter 2012 revenue was $47 million and operating income was $29 million. The Manufacturing segment reported operating income of $14 million, a $5 million improvement over the second quarter of 2012. Strong demand and pricing continued to benefit each of the company’s manufactured product lines.

Plywood prices increased 13% compared with the second quarter of 2012 on strong industrial demand. Plywood sales volume declined 6% compared with the same period of 2012 due to reduced log availability.

In April of this year, the company re-opened its Evergreen lumber mill, boosting lumber sales volume by 21% compared with the second quarter of 2012. Average lumber prices declined approximately 1% as the product mix shifted to include lower-priced stud lumber from the re-opened mill.

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BlueLinx reports sales gains, but loss widens

BY HBSDealer Staff

BlueLinx is continuing to implement cost savings and profit-improving initiatives as it looks to expand its specialty products business.

The company reported seond-quarter revenues of $604.6 million, up 16.9% from $517.0 million in the same quarter last year. However, the Atlanta-based distributor’s net loss widened to $22.3 million, compared with a net loss of $3.7 million in the same quarter last year.

"The building products market remains highly competitive and volatile," said BlueLinx executive chairman Howard Cohen. "However, the outlook for new residential construction continues to suggest favorable opportunities for BlueLinx."

Declining prices for structural wood products generated lower gross margins for the company in the second quarter. The company’s second half objective is to position BlueLinx for near-term growth and positive operating profits, Cohen said.

BlueLinx operates 55 distribution centers in the United States, offering more than 10,000 products.

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