CHICAGO, IL -- USG Corporation, a leading building products company, reported $24 million in net incomein the first quarter of 2015 on net sales of $909 million. The company said sales are up 7 percent from the first quarter of 2014.
"USG is off to a great start in 2015, led by the performance of our U.S. Gypsum and U.S. Ceilings businesses," said James S. Metcalf, Chairman, President, and CEO. "We generated operating margin improvement in these businesses by achieving price increases, focusing on manufacturing cost control, and tailoring our spending on investments in these businesses."
The corporation's Gypsum segment generated $68 million of operating profit in the first quarter of 2015, led by the United States Gypsum business that improved operating margins by 270 basis points. The United States Gypsum business realized improved volumes, lower costs, and also earned a wallboard price increase that was achieved in all channels that contributed $4 million of additional operating profit in the first quarter of 2015. Adjusting for $8 million in income from its non-core shipping business and a $7 million non-cash benefit in its mining business in the first quarter of 2014, the Gypsum segment realized $18 million of improved operating profit and 250 basis points of operating margin improvement.
"While weather conditions were more favorable, we also saw organic volume growth across all of our businesses. Our non-wallboard products in the Gypsum business also played a part in our first quarter success by generating $5 million of incremental profit," Mr. Metcalf said.
USG announced that it has entered into agreements to sell the two ships in its non-core shipping business, Gypsum Transportation Limited (GTL), for $42 million. The sales of the ships are expected to close in April 2015.
The corporation's Ceilings segment earned $21 million of operating profit in the first quarter of 2015, an increase of 40% over the first quarter of 2014, with United States Ceilings operating margins expanding by 630 basis points.