Boise Cascade (BC) reported today that its building materials distribution segment's income quadrupled in the first quarter to $13.4 million from $3.3 million in the year earlier period on a 15% rise in sales to $717.3 million.

However, those results weren't enough to overcome a slump in commodity prices that left the parent company reporting only $4.95 million in net income in the January-to-March period, down from $7.62 million the year before. Average net selling prices for plywood fell 16% in the quarter from the year before, while lumber was 12% cheaper. In contrast, prices for laminated veneer lumber (LVL) rose 2% and for I-joists the prices grew by 4%.

The distribution segment's volume grew by 19% but overall prices fell by 4%, producing the 15% sales gain. Commodity sales increased 12%, general product line sales increased 14%, and sales of engineered wood products increased by 25%.

Apropos those engineered product sales gains, the company noted that its acquisition of Georgia-Pacific's engineered lumber facilities in Thorsby, Ala., and Roxboro, N.C., was completed on March 31. With that deal, GP exited the engineered lumber business

BC said the distribution segment's EBITDA--earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization--swelled to $16.6 million from $6.1 million.