NASHVILLE -- Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LP) (NYSE: LPX) reported today results for the first quarter ended March 2011, which included the following:
* Total sales for the first quarter of $332 million were up 12 percent versus a year ago, while U.S. housing starts decreased 10 percent from first quarter 2010 levels.
* Losses from continuing operations were $23 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2011.
* Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations for the first quarter was $10 million compared to $3 million in the first quarter of 2010.
"At the beginning of the year, we felt some optimism in the market but it waned as we finished the quarter," said Chief Executive Officer Rick Frost. "LP took advantage of what the market did offer and our operations were able to generate positive adjusted EBITDA of $10 million despite lower housing starts."

FIRST QUARTER RESULTS

For the quarter ended March 31, 2011, LP reported net sales of $332 million, up from $297 million in the first quarter of 2010. For the first quarter, the company reported an operating loss of $18 million as compared to a loss in the first quarter of 2010 of $23 million.

For the first quarter of 2011, LP reported a loss from continuing operations of $23 million, or $0.18 per diluted share which matched results in the first quarter of 2010 primarily due to a lower tax benefit rate in 2011.

ORIENTED STRAND BOARD (OSB) SEGMENT

LP's OSB segment manufactures and distributes OSB structural panel products. During the quarter, LP operated eight facilities in the segment. The OSB segment reported net sales for the first quarter of 2011 of $132 million, up 12 percent compared with $118 million of net sales in the first quarter of 2010. For the quarter, the OSB segment reported an operating loss of $9 million compared with an operating loss of $5 million in the first quarter of 2010. For the quarter, LP realized a decrease of $4 million in adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations for this segment as compared to the first quarter of 2010. For the first quarter of 2011 as compared to the first quarter of 2010, sales volumes were up 18 percent with sales price decreasing by 5 percent. The decrease in sales price accounted for a decrease of $7 million in both operating results and adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations.

Partially offsetting the decline in sales price were reductions in manufacturing costs due to increased efficiencies from higher production volumes.

SIDING SEGMENT

LP's Siding segment consists of LP SmartSide(R) siding as well as LP's prefinished LP CanExel(R) siding line. These products are used in new construction as well as in repair and remodeling markets. Additionally, a small amount of commodity OSB is produced on one of our siding lines. The Siding segment reported net sales of $106 million in the first quarter of 2011, up 18 percent from $90 million in the year-ago first quarter. For the quarter, the Siding segment reported operating income of $13 million compared to operating income of $9 million in the year-ago quarter. For the quarter, LP reported $17 million in adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations in this segment, an improvement of $3 million compared to the first quarter of 2010.

In the first quarter of 2011, the increase in sales and related profitability was primarily driven by increased volume in key markets.

ENGINEERED WOOD PRODUCTS SEGMENT (EWP)

The EWP segment is comprised of I-Joist (IJ), Laminated Veneer Lumber and Laminated Strand Lumber (LVL and LSL). EWP segment sales in the first quarter of 2011 totaled $48 million about flat compared to the year-ago quarter. Operating losses decreased 17 percent to $6 million for the quarter from $7 million in the first quarter of 2010. For the quarter, LP reported a loss of $1 million in adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations in this segment, an improvement of $2 million compared to the first quarter of 2010.

The flat sales in the first quarter were the result of increased prices and LSL volumes which offset lower volumes in LVL and IJ. The margin improvement was attributable to better results at the mill that produces LSL.

COMPANY OUTLOOK

"While the economy has begun to recover and we are seeing some job growth, which we believe is key to stimulating demand for new home construction, this uptick in employment has not yet translated into increased housing activity," Frost said. "In response to market uncertainty, we continue to focus on our costs and enhanced relationships with customers so that we are poised to win as housing recovers," Frost concluded.

About LP

Louisiana-Pacific Corporation is a leading manufacturer of quality engineered wood building materials including OSB, structural framing products, and exterior siding for use in residential, industrial and light commercial construction. From manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Canada, Chile and Brazil, LP products are sold to builders and homeowners through building materials distributors and dealers and retail home centers. Founded in 1973, LP is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under LPX.

SOURCE: Louisiana-Pacific Corp.

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