Universal Forest Products sales up, earnings down in third quarter

In the face of a lackluster housing market, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Universal Forest Products saw third-quarter earnings decrease 36 percent to $11.3 million compared with earnings of $17.7 million last year.

Sales rose 0.9 percent to $678.4 million from $672.9 million.

The drop in the housing market “continued to have a broad impact,” the company said, with site-built construction sales down 24 percent year-over-year to $158.9 million.

However, sales in the DIY sector rose a healthy 11.2 percent to $268 million. Sales in the company’s other business segments, industrial and manufactured/modular housing, rose 10.2 percent and 18.2 percent respectively.

"We're focused on building market share, managing our working capital, reducing costs and enhancing our balance of business by adding new products and exploring new areas for growth,” said Michael Glenn, president and CEO of Universal Forest Products. "By focusing on these objectives, we're positioning ourselves well for the market's return to strength."

The company still downwardly revised its annual sales and earnings targets in light of a “weak housing market E and the company’s prediction that recovery won’t begin until 2009.”

Universal Forest Products markets, manufactures and engineers wood and wood-alternative products.