PITTSBURGH, PA --  For the second straight quarter sales dropped for railroad tie and telephone pole maker Koppers Holdings Inc. The company reported consolidated sales of $356.8 million for the second quarter of 2014, a four percent, or $14.1 million, decline from sales of $370.9 million in the prior year quarter.

The decrease was driven predominately by lower sales volumes for railroad crossties due to lower raw material availability, the company reported. The company said its North American railroad business was impacted by reduced availability of hardwood lumber. Sales for its crosstie business was $148.2 million, a decrease of two percent or $2.4 million compared to sales of $150.6 million in the same quarter the previous year. The decrease in hardwood lumber supply offset the reported $8.2 million in revenue from the company's Ashcroft acquisition.

“We are beginning to see increased availability and are optimistic that the second half of the year will be stronger than the first half for this business as we see supplies improve,” says CEO Walt Turner.

Turner said the acquisition of Osmose Holdings, Inc. for $460 million, which was announced in April, should be completed by the end of the third quarter.  The Osmose Wood Preservation business manufactures and markets wood preservation chemicals and wood treatment technologies. With operations and sales in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Australasia, it generated $350 million in 2013 revenue. Osmose's Railroad Services, which operates primarily in North America, generated $40 million in revenue last year.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.