Building Products Company Posts $28 Million Fourth Quarter Net Loss

Chicago–Building product supplier USG Corp., the nation’s leading producer of gypsum wallboard, saw a fourth quarter net loss of $28 million due to the housing decline, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.In the fourth quarter of 2006, Chicago-based USG’s net income was $100 million. Sales fell by 10 percent, sinking from $1.29 to $1.20 billion.USG has closed its least-efficient plants and cut roughly 1,250 jobs over the past 18 months.Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William C. Foote said that the low fourth quarter results and overall 2007 results “reflect the ongoing decline of the U.S. housing market.””High inventories of unsold homes, tighter mortgage lending standards and a decline in residential repair and remodeling activity caused wallboard shipments and prices to fall,” Foote said.USG doesn’t feel the housing market will improve soon and said the current slump most likely will “continue at least through 2008.” The company does not expect its profitability–or the market–to recover until the national housing supply is reduced, credit markets return to normal and consumer confidence is higher.