Huttig Building Products on Oct. 26 cited taxes as a big reason why its net income slid 77% to $4.7 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30 even as net sales rose 6% to $192.8 million.

The distributor paid $2.5 million in income tax expenses in the June-to-September period. In contrast, it reaped a $17.4 million tax benefit in the same quarter last year.

Gross margin swelled 11.3% to $41.4 million, but operating increases grew nearly as much, climbing 9.1% to $33.6 million.

“We are pleased with our performance in the third quarter, especially in light of the sluggish growth in the single family new construction segment in recent months,” Jon Vrabely, Huttig’s president and CEO, said in a news release from the St. Louis-based company. “We expect to see continued growth and profitability as we execute on our strategies to accelerate our growth, and invest in our people and in our technology platform.”

Huttig prefers to measure its progress using adjusted EBITDA--earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, stock compensation, and income from discontinued operations. By that metric, adjusted EBITDA rose 21% to $9.2 million in the July-to-September period, up from $7.6 million in the year-earlier period.

Millwork sales increased 10% in 2016 to $97.4 million, primarily due to increased construction activity and an acquisition. Building products sales increased 2% in 2016 to $76.9 million. Wood product sales increased 8% in 2016 to $18.5 million.