L&W Supply, the distribution division of USG Corp. and the sixth-biggest dealer on the ProSales 100, reported its operating loss shrank to $10 million in the third quarter from a $17 million loss in the year-earlier period on a 6% rise in sales to $300 million. It also closed a total of 12 branches in August and September.

Those loss figures include a $2 million expenditure for restructuring or impairment in this year's July-to-September period and $7 million for the same reasons a year earlier. Once those are taken into account, the adjusted operating loss drops to $8 million in the third quarter vs. a $10 million loss in 2011.

Wallboard volume increased by 5% and margins rose 10% from a year earler, USG said. Same-store net sales increased 10%. A dozen branches were closed--three in August and nine in September--out of the roughly 155 that L&W Supply reported having at the start of this year. An L&W spokesperson declined to give the locations of those facilities.

Company-wide, USG swung to an operating profit for $29 million from a year-earlier $79 million loss but still had a net loss of $29 million compared with 3Q11's net loss of $115 million. Sales grew 9% to $828 million. The U.S. Gypsum division saw wallboard shipments increase 14% to 1.2 billion square feet while the price of that wallboard jumped 18% to $131.97 per thousand square feet.

Sales of USG's Sheetrock Brand UltraLight panels accounted for 47% of all USG wallboard shipments in the U.S., it noted.