A survey of 150 dealers nationwide found those companies posted an average operating loss of $176,820 in 2011, a $50,000 improvement from 2010’s red-ink year, in part because average net sales climbed 2% to $16.9 million.

The Building Material Operations Comparison survey—a data-collection effort led by the Atlanta-based Construction Suppliers Association (CSA) in conjunction with other regional LBM groups nationwide—also found that gross margin dipped to 25.28% of net sales, or $4.2 million, from 26.16% in 2012.

Average total operating expenses averaged 27.22% of net sales, or $4.4 million, another slight drop from 2010’s 27.97%. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) averaged out at $288,474, or 1.19% of net sales.

CSA president Jim Moody said dealers from almost every state participated, but he declined to list them.

A copy of the results costs $500 for those who didn’t participate and $200 for those who did. To purchase a copy, contact your regional LBM association or e-mail Moody at jimmoody@gocsa.com.