In bad weather, Trex posts sales, earnings declines

Poor weather hurt second-quarter sales at Trex, the nation's largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking and railing products. The macro-economy didn't help, either.

Winchester, Va.-based Trex Co. reported net sales of $78.4 million for the second quarter ended June 30, down 32.1% from $115.5 million in the same quarter last year. Income declined to $2.1 million, compared with $4.8 million a year ago.

"As previously announced, second-quarter sales were less than expected due to poor weather in much of the country and, to a lesser extent, the challenging macroeconomic environment," said Ronald Kaplan, chairman, president and CEO. "The severe winter storms that impacted many parts of the U.S. through April were followed by heavier-than-normal precipitation during most of May, delaying the start of the deck-building season and negatively affecting the sell-through of our products."

The good news for the company is that sales picked up with improved weather. Sales order activity in June exceeded order activity in June 2010 by 15%.

Trex recognized $13.3 million of non-cash charges during the 2010 period, which included a $9 million increase to its warranty reserve, a $1.9 million charge related to supply contracts and a $2.4 million charge related to its joint venture for recycling waste polyethylene in Spain.