Ainsworth reported a second-quarter net loss of C$11.5 million (US$11.5 million), a $1.5 million improvement over the same period a year ago, the manufacturer announced yesterday. Net sales for the period ended June 30 rose 12% to C$90.5 million (US$90.4 million).

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based engineered wood and lumber producer posted a C$11.3 million (US$11.3 million) loss from continuing operations, a $1.6 million improvement over last year’s second quarter. Ainsworth said an improvement in market prices, partially offset by a decrease in sales volume, drove the results.

Adjusted EBITDA, which the company defines as net income from continuing operations before amortization, gain on disposal of property, plant and equipment, cost of curtailed operations, stock option expense (recovery), finance expense, foreign exchange (gain) loss of long-term debt, other foreign exchange loss (gain), income tax (recovery) expense, and non-recurring items, was C$17.1 million (US$17.1 million), a huge jump from the C$2.1 million (US$2.1 million) announced a year ago.

“I am pleased to announce that Ainsworth recorded positive financial results and achieved another safety milestone in the second quarter of 2012,” said Jim Lake, president and CEO of Ainsworth.

During the quarter the Western Canadian price for the benchmark of oriented strand board (7/16-inch) averaged US$232 per thousand square feet, a 54% increase from a year ago. The North Central price for the benchmark for OSB (7/16-inch) was up 35% to US$235 per thousand square feet.

“The U.S. housing indicators continue to show positive signs, with total housing starts, building permits, and single-family start up sharply by 29%, 23%, and 23%, respectively year-over-year (commencing from a low base),” said the company in its earnings statement. “Provided that improvements in U.S. housing starts continue, we expect demand to trend incrementally better for the remainder of the year, particularly in our key Western markets.”