USG's distribution arm, L&W Supply, improved its operating loss by $8 million in the second quarter from a year earlier to finish with a $14 million operating deficit, the company announced today. Sales slipped 4.3% to $270 million.

United States Gypsum Co., USG's U.S. subsidiary, deepened its operating loss to $21 million from a $16 million loss in 2010's second quarter as sales fell 4.2% to $322 million.Company-wide, USG posted a $70 million net loss, a $4 million improvement from the April-June 2010 period on a 1% drop in net sales to $761 million. The operating loss for the quarter improved to $21 million from $25 million.

"We are continuing to pursue our near-term and long-term strategic priorities during the protracted recession in our domestic markets," said USG president and CEO James Metcalf. "By strengthening our core businesses, diversifying the sources of our earnings and aggressively leveraging our innovation leadership to differentiate USG's products from the competition, we are confident that we can successfully navigate this recession and capitalize on a recovery."

Wallboard price for United States Gypsum was $111.55 for the quarter, down almost $3 from a year earlier. The company produced 986 million square feet of the product, 7.9% less than a year earlier.

L&W Supply is ranked No. 6 on the latest ProSales 100 listing with USG reporting sales of $1.05 billion for the division.