L&W Supply, the distribution arm of USG, halved its operating loss to $7 million from the same period a year ago behind a 9% growth in sales to $293 million, USG reported today. Same store net sales at L&W Supply also increased 11% for the period ended June 30.

Adjusted operating loss for Chicago-based USG’s building products distribution unit was $9 million, an improvement compared with the $14 million loss reported a year ago.

Overall, USG improved its net loss by $13 million to finish the quarter at $57 million. The company posted an operating profit of $31 million, a huge swing into the black after posting a $21 million loss during last year’s second quarter. Sales for the quarter jumped 8% to $825 million and gross profit more than doubled to $109 million.

“We are pleased to build on the positive operating profit in the first quarter with another quarter of improved results,” said USG’s chairman, president and CEO James S. Metcalf in a statement.

USG’s North American Gypsum unit, which includes United States Gypsum Co., CGC Inc., and USG Mexico, posted a total operating profit of $31 million for the quarter, a swing into the black compared with 2011’s second quarter. Net sales at the unit grew 13% to $473 million.

The company’s Worldwide Ceiling division, under which USG Interiors and USG International operate, saw operating profits remain flat at $22 million as sales rose slightly to $177 million.

During the second quarter, the selling price for gypsum wallboard grew 18% to $132.09 per one thousand board feet and shipping volume increased 16% to 1.15 billion square feet.

“Our businesses performed well in the second quarter despite weak demand compared to long-term averages,” Metcalf said. “We are seeing the signs of a recovery in our core markets, and will continue to focus on reducing costs and improving margins as we work towards positive net earnings.”

As part of its earnings statement, USG announced that it is entering into a joint venture to allow the company to sell its Sheetrock brand gypsum wallboard in India. USG hopes to commence the sale of its product in the Indian market by the end of 2013.