Retail building materials: $210.9 million, a decrease of 5.4 percent from the same period of 2010.
Unit sales to this market declined 2.0 percent as consumer demand remained soft. Sales to big box customers declined while sales to regional retailers grew. The Home Improvement Research Institute states that acceleration in the growth of home improvement products will be held back by continuing weakness in the housing market, and calls for growth of home improvement product sales averaging 3.7 percent over 2012-2013. Universal is aggressively focusing on providing new products for this market, and remains persistent in its efforts to be the low-cost producer.
Industrial packaging/components: $128.3 million, up 6.4 percent over the third quarter of 2010.
The Company grew sales at a time when industrial production in the United States increased just 0.9 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, in July and August 2011. The Company continues to focus on adding customers and products, as well as on expanding its reach into non-wood packaging materials and on providing complete packaging solutions.Manufactured housing and recreational vehicles: $65.7 million, an increase of 2.4 percent over 2010. Unit sales to this market increased by 3.0 percent primarily due to increased sales in the Company’s distribution business. According to the most recent statistics available, shipments of HUD-Code homes in July and August 2011 were down 3 percent from the previous year. Universal remains committed to this market and continues to execute on its strategy to expand its product offering by building on the early success of its distribution operations. Residential construction: $52.2 million, down 17.0 percent from the same period of 2010. The Company saw a unit sales decline of approximately 16 percent in the third quarter of 2011, due to plant closures in Texas and California since the third quarter of 2010. The Company remains focused on multifamily projects, where it sees stronger opportunity for growth than in single-family construction. The most recent statistics available indicate that single-family housing starts were down 1.7 percent June through August 2011 from the same period of 2010, while multifamily starts increased 28.1 percent in the same period of 2011 over the previous year.