United States Gypsum Co., the U.S. subsidiary of USG, and L&W Supply, the distribution arm of USG, both improved their operating loss during the first quarter of 2011, despite decreases in net sales for both, USG announced today. USG's Worldwide Ceilings division also improved operating income by 44.4% to $26 million.
U.S. Gypsum posted an operating loss of $29 million during the quarter, an improvement over the $37 million operating loss it posted during the year earlier period. The division saw net sales fall by $14 million, compared the first quarter 2010, to $318 million for the quarter. The division's wallboard averaged realized selling price was $109.15 per one thousand square feet, a $2.57 increase over the year earlier period, but a fall from the $111.66 per one thousand board feet priced during the fourth quarter of 2010. During the first quarter the company shipped just under one billion square feet of wallboard.
L&W Supply posted an operating loss of $22 million during the first quarter, a large improvement over the $39 million operating loss the division posted during the same period a year ago. Net sales fell, however to $243 million, down from the $248 million posted during the same period in 2010.
USG Worldwide Ceilings, which includes the USG Interiors brand name, saw net sales increase by 7.3% to $177 million during the quarter compared to first quarter 2010.
"As expected, we experienced generally weak demand in our domestic markets during the quarter," said James Metcalf, USG's president and CEO. "Accordingly, we continue to focus on our operating initiatives to drive improvements in our results."
Overall, USG reported net sales of $721 million during the first quarter, a slight improvement over the $716 million in net sales a year ago. The company also reported gross profit of $36 million and managed to improve it's overall operating loss to $58 million, from $82 million a year ago. The company also improved net loss by $5 million to $105 million.