Loss widens at BlueLinx Holdings

Atlanta-based building products distribution giant BlueLinx Holdings is having some success in its emphasis on value-added specialty products, but it couldn't hold off total sales declines in the second quarter.

BlueLinx posted a loss of $9.8 million in the quarter ended July 2, compared with a net loss of $3.4 million in the same quarter last year. Revenues declined 7.4% to $500.8 million.

While structural product sales declined 27.1%, the company pointed to growth of specialty product as an achievement -- the category increased 10.7% in the quarter. CEO George Judd said the company successfully expanded its specialty products to more than 60% of total sales, and specialty product unit volumes increased 16.5% compared with a year ago -- a new record for quarterly volume growth in the category.

"In addition, we generated solid margins in the face of competitive pricing pressures, demonstrated diligent cost management and delivered high-quality customer service," Judd said. "I am pleased to see our specialty business responding to our targeted growth initiatives."