Huttig Building Products, Inc., distributor of millwork, building materials and wood products, reported a net loss of $9.8 million for the first quarter 2008, compared with a net loss of $3.4 million in the year-ago period.
Sales fell 25% to $166.8 million.
While seasonally one of our slowest quarters, the 2008 first quarter was also significantly impacted by the 29% year-over-year decline in annualized housing starts," said Jon Vrabely, president and CEO.
"Given this challenge, we continue to pursue all avenues aimed at controlling expenses, improving operating efficiencies, reducing inventories and generating cash. Although we incurred an operating loss in the quarter, our year-over-year sales decreased less than the overall decline in housing starts, suggesting that we have continued to increase our overall market share despite having fewer physical locations.
"In addition, we have essentially maintained our gross profit margin percentage despite the increased competitive pressure as a result of the market decline. That having been said, there continue to be opportunities which we will aggressively pursue to expand our market share, further improve operating efficiencies and reduce costs."
During the quarter, Huttig completed the consolidation of distribution facilities in Kansas City, MO, and Greensburg, PA, into adjacent facilities in Springfield, MO, Columbus, OH, and Lancaster, PA. Looking ahead, Huttig is implementing a LEAN manufacturing initiative to identify additional opportunities to improve production and operational efficiencies.
Huttig distributes its products through 36 distribution centers serving 44 states. The Company's wholesale distribution centers sell principally to building materials dealers, national buying groups, home centers and industrial users, including makers of manufactured homes.