L&W Supply, the No. 8 company on last year's ProSales 100, saw its operating profit shoot to $11 million in the first quarter from $4 million in the year-earler period on a 7% rise in sales to $357 million, the Chicago-based company's parent, USG, reported today.

Robust increases in profit margins on the gypsum and ceilings that USG makes appear to have helped drive the profit gains. Within L&W, "operating margins improved 190 basis points to 3.1%, with same store sales and wallboard volumes increasing 9% and 12%, respectively," USG said. That's the unit's best operating margin since the final quarter of 2007.

Same-store sales rose 9%, while the volume of wallboard shipped increased 12%, USG declared. It also cited other core products as helping boost L&W, including a $3 million profit gain from the sale of steel studs.

L&W operates 142 facilities nationwide. According to USG's annual report, tt recorded $1.43 billion in sales and $23 million in operating profit last year.