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Posted May 2, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Trex reports loss in first quarter

WINCHESTER — Composite decking, railing and fencing manufacturer Trex reported a loss of $3.1 million, or 21 cents a share, for the first quarter on a sharp drop-off in sales.

Net sales for the quarter totaled $67.7 million compared to $119.5 million for the same three-month period in 2008.

President and CEO Ronald W. Kaplan said in a statement the company’s customers, which include Lowe’s and Home Depot, held inventories lower than in past years due to the tough economy.

“We continue to expect increased pull-through demand in the spring and summer months, which will shift a larger proportion of our sales activity into the second and third quarters of 2009,” Kaplan said.

Trex focused on improving its manufacturing yields and cutting costs during the first quarter, the company said, and price increases that went into effect at the beginning of the year were largely offset by lower production volumes.

Still, the company said its cash flow is strong, having ended the quarter with a balance of $19.5 million.

Trex expects to launch several new products this summer, including decorative railing supports, a graspable handrail system that meets the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and do-it-yourself privacy fencing.

Kaplan said the new offerings “position us to thrive once the economy improves.”

Shares of Trex (NYSE: TWP) closed at $11.16 Friday, up 21 cents.

— Daily Staff Report

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