BlueLinx revenues down in third quarter

Atlanta-based BlueLinx Holdings, a leading distributor of building products in North America, reported a net loss of $2.6 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 27, 2008, swinging from profits of $0.9 million for the same period in 2007.

The reported net loss includes an after-tax restructuring charge of approximately $2.0 million related to the previously announced closing of BlueLinx’s California-based Lane Stanton Vance milling and manufacturing operations, as well as an after-tax charge of approximately $1.6 million related to a decline in prices for the company’s metal inventory.

In addition, sales of $727 million represented a 28.5 percent decline from $1.02 billion for the same period a year ago. This reflected a 36 percent drop in structural product sales and a 19 percent drop in specialty product sales from the year ago period.

The overall third-quarter unit volume decline of 33 percent was mainly due to a 33 percent drop in housing starts relative to year-ago levels, the company said.

“While our results were impacted by the downturn in the housing market, our performance was in line with our expectations for the quarter,” said George Judd, BlueLinx’s newly appointed CEO. “We remain focused on managing cash flow by tightly managing inventories, receivables and our operating expenses.”

Judd went on to say that during the third quarter, his company continued to provide quality service to its customers and suppliers, generated $69 million in cash flow from operating activities and ended the period with $71 million in cash, plus $227 million in excess borrowing availability on the company’s revolving credit facility.

“While we expect a very difficult fourth quarter, Bluelinx is financially and operationally positioned to be able to continue executing throughout this unprecedented housing downturn,” he added.