Ply Gem Holdings Inc. reported today that its net loss for the first quarter sank to $62.6 million, nearly triple its $21.8 million loss in the year earlier period, on a 28.7% decline in net sales to $182.8 million from $256.4 million.

Adjusted EBITDA--which Ply Gem defines as net income (loss) plus interest expense (net of interest income), provision (benefit) for income taxes, depreciation and amortization, non-cash foreign currency gain/(loss), goodwill impairment charges, customer inventory buybacks, and restructuring and integration costs--swung to a $13.3 million loss from a $5.2 million profit in January through March 2008.

"Ply Gem's first quarter sales and EBITDA results reflect the challenging market conditions that continue to exist in the housing market today," Gary Robinette, president and CEO of the Cary, N.C.-based company, said in a statement. "We continue to pursue the initiatives that are helping us compete effectively in this historic housing slump. We continue to realign our cost structure for current and future market demand. At the same time, we are focused on maximizing cash flow and outperforming the market place in all business units, allowing us to emerge stronger when the housing market recovers."

Ply Gem produces windows, doors, siding and accessories, stone veneer, fencing and rail products.

The latest results follow the company's announcement in March that its net loss before unusual items for the fourth quarter of 2008 nearly tripled from the year earlier to total $27.9 million, swinging the manufacturer of exterior building products to a $55.5 million loss for the year. But those numbers include a $250 million non-cash goodwill charge taken during the quarter. Late last year, Ply Gem closed window and door manufacturing facilities in Hammonton, N.J., and Phoenix, Ariz. Net sales in the quarter dropped 26.2% to $234.5 million, while sales for the year declined 13.8% to $1.18 billion.