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Slight dip in sales at Owens Corning

Owens Corning has reported net sales of $1.24 billion for its first fiscal quarter of 2011, a 2% decrease from sales of $1.27 billion in the first quarter of 2010. 

First-quarter 2011 net earnings were $24 million, compared with net earnings of $48 million a year ago. 

In composites, net sales increased during the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010.  More than half of the increase in net sales was the result of higher selling prices during the quarter.

Net sales in the building materials segment were lower in the first quarter of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010.  Most of this decrease was related to lower sales volumes within the roofing business. Sales were also negatively impacted by the fourth-quarter 2010 divestiture of the North American masonry products business and lower sales in the insulation business.

In the roofing business, lower shingle volumes accounted for approximately three-fourths of the decrease in net sales during the quarter. Insulation showed lower net sales in the first quarter of 2011 than in the same period in 2010 due to lower sales volumes that were partially offset by higher selling prices. Lower sales volumes continue to persist given the current state of the U.S. housing market. Pricing actions taken in the United States in the second half of 2010 resulted in higher selling prices in the first quarter 2011 as compared to the first quarter of 2010.  

"Owens Corning delivered profit in line with our expectations for the first quarter driven by continued strong performance in the composites and roofing businesses," said chairman and CEO Mike Thaman. The company made investments to expand its composites capacity and convert insulation facilities to produce its new EcoTouch insulation product, according to Thaman. 

“We expect that these investments -- combined with improving economic conditions and our recent pricing actions -- will improve profitability throughout the balance of the year," Thaman said.

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