Owens Corning's building materials segment more than doubled its earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) from the same period a year ago to hit $144 million, the company announced today. The segment's net sales also rose 36% to $1.01 billion during the period ended Sept. 30.

Within the segment, the Toledo, Ohio-based company's insulation business posted a negative EBIT of $12 million loss, an improvement over the $18 million loss a year ago. Net sales within the insulation business rose 16% to $365 million. The company cited strong execution as the reason for the business' improvement.

The roofing business, meanwhile, improved EBIT by 71% to $156 million, behind a 59% jump in sales to $644 million. The company didn't provide reasons for the improvement in the roofing business.

EBIT at Owens Corning's composite segment increased 14% to $49 million, while the segment's sales moved up 4% to $496 million.

Overall, the building materials and composites producer, saw net earnings double to $126 million from the same period last year, while net sales improved 22% to $1.45 billion. EBIT nearly doubled to $177 million, behind a decrease in total operating expenses and a lack of charges related to cost reduction actions. Gross margin improved by two percentage point to 22%.

"Owens Corning delivered record earnings performance in the third quarter," said chairman and CEO Mike Thaman. "We continue to benefit from strong execution in an uncertain economy and a resilient portfolio of market-leading businesses."