Louisiana-Pacific (LP) Corp., more than halved its first-quarter net loss, compared with the same period last year, to $11.3 million behind a 9% rise in sales to $361.5 million, the company announced today.

The Nashville, Tenn.-based building material manufacturer reported an $11.2 million loss from continuing operations, a huge improvement over the $22.9 million loss during last year’s opening quarter. Loss from operations for the period ended March 31 was $2.1 million, another vase improvement over the $18.2 million loss a year ago.

Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations jumped 62% to $21 million. The company defines adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations as EBITDA that reflects exclusion of stock based compensation expense, (gain) loss on sales or impairment of long lived assets, other operating charges and credits, investment income and depreciation included in equity in loss (earnings) of unconsolidated affiliates and discloses adjusted income (loss) from continuing operations which excludes (gain) loss on sale or impairment of long-lived assets, other operating credits and charges, net and adjusts for a normalized tax rate.

“All of our North American segments outperformed the same quarter last year,” said Curt Stevens, LP’s CEO. “For the first time in many years, the housing news has been positive and this was reflected in our results.”

The company’s oriented strand board (OSB) segment revealed a 13% rise in net sales to $149 million as operating loss improved to $300,000 compared with $9.1 million a year ago. OSB (3/8-inch) production, which includes volumes produced by joint ventures and under sales arrangements, increased 5% to 799 million square feet.

Operating profit at LP's siding unit rose 32% to $16.8 million as sales grew 6% to $113.1 million. The segment produced 240 million square feet of 3/8-inch siding, a 9% increase from last year.

The engineered wood products division reported an operating loss of $2.8 million compared with a $5.5 million loss a year ago. Net sales at the unit remained flat at $48.6 million. The division produced 14 million lineal feet of I-joist and 1.7 million cubic feet of laminated veneer lumber and laminated strand lumber.

The South America unit reported net sales of $42.4 million, a 20% from a year ago, as operating profits dipped slightly to $3.1 million.

“We are cautiously optimistic that housing activity is on the road to recovery,” said Stevens. “We are in an excellent position to capitalize on incremental demand with the resources in place to manufacture and deliver to our customers quality products.”