Profits drop 31% at Lennar

National home builder Lennar reported nearly flat sales for the third quarter of 2011, with revenues of $820.2 million, down 1% from the same quarter of 2010. Net income in the three months ended Aug. 31 were $20.7 million, down 31% from the $30 million earned in the third quarter a year ago.

The Miami-based home builder delivered 2,865 new homes, a decrease of 3% from the third quarter of 2010. New orders were up 11%, to 2,914 homes. The cancellation rate was 20%.

The company, which builds in 17 states, now has a backlog of 2,519 homes -- up 16% from the third quarter of 2010. 

Stuart Miller, Lennar’s CEO, noted that the company generated profits in all of its business segments, “despite operating in very challenging economic conditions."

Demand for home purchases is “slowly return[ing] to the marketplace, driven by low home prices and all-time low interest rates,” Miller said. “Limiting that demand is tight and tightening lending standards, high unemployment and low overall consumer confidence, which continue to weigh heavily on the purchase of new homes."

The company continues to focus on “efficient business practice” through its “Everything's Included” program, product re-engineering and SG&A reduction, Miller said.