USG Corporation reported today that its building products distribution subsidiary, Chicago-based L&W Supply Corporation, saw positive numbers in the first quarter of 2012. L&W recorded a net same-store sales increase of 13% for the quarter from the year-ago period as well as a 72% drop in quarterly operating loss to total $6 million for the same period.

“All units showed improved results, supported by a modest increase in U.S. wallboard demand and solid performance across our product lines including ceilings, substrates and joint compounds,” said company chairman, president and CEO James S. Metcalf in a statement. He attributes some of the growth the “market enthusiasm” surrounding the expansion of the company’s SHEETROCK Brand UltraLight Panel products.

L&W ranked sixth on last year's ProSales 100 survey, reporting slightly more than $1 billion in annual sales to building professionals, accounting for 99% of company transactions.  

The Chicago-based parent company saw similar first-quarter gains as net loss dropped by 75% to a loss of $27 million and net sales increased by 13% to $812 million, both from the year-ago period.  The company’s operating expenses also jumped from a loss of $58 million a year ago to a $27 milllion operating profit for the first quarter of 2012.