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USG posts a loss of $100 million for Q3

Chicago-based USG Corp., parent company of North American Gypsum and owner of the Sheetrock brand, posted a third-quarter net loss of $100 million, compared with a loss of $94 million for the same quarter last year.

Sales for the quarter ended Sept. 30 were $758 million, down 7.7% from $822 million as reported for the same quarter in 2009.

“Our third-quarter results reflect continued weak market conditions and extraordinarily low shipping volumes,” said William Foote, chairman and CEO. “Nonetheless, operating margins for our domestic wallboard business were stable, our ceilings business had another strong quarter, and the performance of our distribution business continued to improve despite ongoing weakness in commercial construction.”

USG’s North American Gypsum segment reported third-quarter 2010 net sales of $413 million and an operating loss of $43 million.

USG’s building products distribution segment, L&W Supply Corp. and its subsidiaries, reported third-quarter net sales of $281 million, down 15% compared with the third quarter of 2009 with an operating loss of $24 million.

The company’s Worldwide Ceilings segment reported third-quarter net sales of $174 million, up $1 million from the same quarter last year. Operating profit for the quarter was unchanged from last year at $21 million.

Looking forward, Foote said, “In the near term, we expect weak demand and product volumes to continue. Longer term, we anticipate the combination of an eventual market recovery, improved operating leverage, market-leading innovations like Sheetrock Brand UltraLight Panels and the benefits of our cost reduction initiatives to contribute to significantly improved financial performance.”