Trex company sales decline 2 percent after robust 6 months

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Trex Co. Inc. reported a decline in sales in the third quarter after a robust first half of the year.

The company, which manufactures non-wood decking and railing, reported total revenue for the third quarter of $60.6 million, a 2.2 percent decrease from $61.9 million in the third quarter of 2009.

“After a very active and successful first half, the environment for Trex and other companies in the building materials sector changed abruptly in mid-summer,” Trex Chairman, President and CEO Ronald Kaplan said in a statement. “Consumer sentiment declined rapidly, reducing the solid flow of orders we had been receiving. As a result, we had to decrease capacity utilization, a key contributor to gross margin.”

Total revenues for the first nine months of the year are still 9.6 percent ahead of the same period last year. For the first three quarters of 2010, Trex reported $242.4 million in sales.

Trex narrowed its loss in the third quarter to $8.7 million, compared with a $22.4 million loss in the third quarter of 2009. The third quarter of 2010 included $3.9 million of “unusual” charges, including a charge related to a supply contract. The third quarter of 2009 included a non-cash impairment charge of $23.3 million.

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