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Thursday, August 14, 2008 10:51:41 AM

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Thursday, July 31, 2008
Housing market slows Huttig's salesSt. Louis Business Journal - by Kelsey Volkmann

Huttig's stock hammered as housing woes continue [St. Louis]
Huttig to close facilities in California, Tennessee [St. Louis]
Huttig Building Products sales drop 25% in Q1, loss widens [St. Louis]
Study finds tax burden in DeSoto County exceeds that in Shelby County [Memphis]
Small business [San Jose]
The downturn in the housing market continues to sting earnings and sales for Huttig Building Products.

The company reported Wednesday a loss in the second quarter of $2.5 million, or 12 cents per share, compared to net income of $1.1 million, or 5 cents share, a year earlier.

During the three months ending June 30, sales declined 18 percent to $195.4 million, compared to $239.5 million in a year ago.

Sales were hurt by the 30 percent year over year decline in average annualized housing starts for the quarter, to approximately 1.02 million, from 1.46 million a year ago.

Second quarter 2008 and 2007 operating results reflected $1 million in costs associated with branch closings in California and Tennessee and $400,000 in related inventory impairment and liquidations, the company said.

"In this challenging environment, we continue to focus on controlling expenses, improving operating efficiencies, reducing inventories, generating cash and gaining market share," said Jon Vrabely, president and chief executive, in a statement. "During the quarter, we reduced inventory levels by $14 million ... We had cut annualized operating expenses by more than $40 million since the June 2006 quarter by consolidating facilities, reducing headcount and lowering infrastructure cost."

Last year, Huttig closed branches in Long Island, N.Y.; Dothan, Ala.; Spokane, Wash.; Greensburg, Pa.; and Kansas City. The company also sold its Green Bay, Wis., operations.

Town and Country-based Huttig Building Products Inc. (NYSE: HBP) distributes buildings materials used in new residential construction and in home improvement, remodeling and repair work.


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