BlueLinx, the Atlanta-based building products distributor, reported a $25.1 million net loss for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 3, 2009. The company reported a net loss of $34.1 million in the same period a year ago.

For the full year, BlueLinx reported a net loss of $31.7 million compared to a net loss of $27.9 million in the prior year.

Fourth quarter revenues fell 35.6% to $501.5 million from $778.9 million in the same period a year ago, the company said. The drop-off reflected a 41.2% decline in structural product sales and a 26.9% sales decline in specialty products, both caused by a 44% decline in housing starts relative to the previous year's fourth quarter, the company said in a statement today.

Sales for the year totaled $2.8 billion, down 27.5% from sales of $3.8 billion a year ago, due largely to an approximate 33% decrease in housing starts versus the comparable prior year period.

"The housing and building products markets continued to be challenging during the quarter as a result of the historic slump in the housing industry," said George Judd, BlueLinx CEO. "During the quarter, and throughout the year, we remained focused on the areas we could control and continued to take measures to effectively manage our business in this difficult operating environment."