BlueLinx shows modest revenue growth

Fourth-quarter revenues at BlueLinx Holdings increased 0.5% to $367.9 million from $366.1 million for the same period a year ago. 

The increase reflects a 7.4% increase in specialty product sales and a 9.5% decrease in structural product sales. Still, the company swung to a fourth-quarter loss of $20.2 million, compared with net income of $12.0 million in last year's fourth quarter. 

"BlueLinx's fourth-quarter operational performance was impacted by the continuing difficult conditions of the housing and construction markets, as the recovery slowed down and we experienced the normal seasonal slowdown associated with our fourth quarter," said BlueLinx president and CEO George Judd. "In the face of this challenging operating environment, our financial results demonstrate modest revenue growth, strong gross margin performance and diligent cost management. We generated approximately $18 million in cash from operations during the quarter."

Overall unit volume declined 4.3%, with a 5.9% increase in specialty unit volume being offset by a 16.5% decline in structural unit volume. 

For the full year ended Jan. 1, the Atlanta-based building products distributor posted net sales of $1.804 billion, up 9.6% from 2009. The company's full-year loss narrowed to $53.2 million, compared with a loss of $61.5 million a year ago.

"While this difficult economic period continues, we remain focused on the strategic initiatives that will build a stronger, more profitable company. During the quarter we grew specialty revenue, a key strategic focus for BlueLinx, to 59% of our total revenues driven by a 5.9% increase in specialty unit volume," Judd added.