Ply Gem Holdings Inc. swung to a $4.4 million net profit in its fiscal third quarter from a $4.1 million loss the year earlier even as sales shrank to $293.5 million, down 14.4% from the $342.8 million posted in the same period in 2008, the diversified building products manufacturer reported today.

Adjusted EBITDA for the three-month period ended Oct. 3 climbed to $57.6 million from the $41.9 million recorded in last year's fiscal third quarter, which ended Sept. 27, 2008. Cary, N.C.-based Ply Gem defines adjusted EBITDA as net income plus interest expense (net of interest income), income tax provisions, depreciationamortization, non-cash foreign currency gains, impairment charges, customer inventory buybacks, and restructuring and integration costs.

The results "continue to reflect the challenging conditions that exist in the housing market today," Ply Germ president and CEO Gary E. Robinette said in a statement. "However, despite the fact that single family housing starts were down 36.2% and15.5% in the second and third quarters of 2009, respectively, Ply Gem demonstrated an improvement. ... Our Adjusted EBITDA performance is a direct result of our continued focus on taking profitable market share and managing our overall cost structurewhich includes the actions that we have taken to realign our capacity during this historic housing slump.

"Although there are some signs of improvement in the housing sector, we remain cautious as the market remains fragile," Robinette continued. "Thus Ply Gem will continue to focus on managing our cost structure while maximizing cashflow and outperforming the market place in all business units, allowing us to emerge stronger when the housing market recovers."

The new results mean that Ply Gem's net loss now stands at $59.1 million for the first nine months of the year, an improvement from the $232.2 million net loss posted in the opening three quarters of 2008. Adjusted EBITDA so far this year weakened slightly to $85.9 million from 2008's $88.3 million. Sales have fallen 21.7% to $736.8 million from $940.5 million. Notably, the 2008 financials include $200 million in impairment charge, while no impairment charge has been claimed this year.

Ply Gem produces windows, doors, siding and accessories, stone veneer, fence and rail products.