First quarter 2014 sales fell 16% to $445 million, compared to the first quarter of 2013, for Louisiana-Pacific, while quarterly operating losses narrowed to $14 million in the quarter from the $65 million loss in the year-ago quarter.
LP CEO Curt Stevens tagged the disappointing sales to last winter’s severe weather across most of North America. “The rail transportation systems in both the U.S. and Canada were in disarray in Q1, which caused unplanned downtime at our operations, increased inventory and late shipments and negatively affected our reported results,” he said.
The Nashville, Tenn.-based company said net sales for its oriented strand board (OSB) products totaled $195 million in the first quarter of the year, a 32% decrease from year-ago net sales of $287 million. The OSB segment produced an operating loss in the quarter of $2 million, compared to $98 million in operating income in the first quarter of 2013. While sales volumes rose by 6% in the quarter, sales prices fell 38% year to year.
LP’s siding segment saw net sales rise in the first quarter to $144 million compared to $134 million in the first quarter of 2013. The siding business’ operating income declined slightly to $19 million in the first quarter compared to $21 million in the year-ago quarter.
Engineered wood products net sales rose 4.8% in the first quarter of 2014 to $66 million, compared to $63 million in the same quarter of 2013. Operating losses from the segment were paired to $3 million for the first quarter of 2014 compared to $4 million in the first quarter of 2013.
CEO Stevens’ outlook for the company was
positive based on anticipated growth in the U.S. housing market which is
projected to achieve 1.1 million housing starts in 2014. “Our current order
files are much stronger than we have seen over the last several quarters and
our customers have a positive outlook for the rest of the year,” he said.