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Published: Wednesday, 10/28/2009

Quarterly profit rose, sales fell at Owens Corning


Owens Corning reported Wednesday that profits rose in the third quarter, but that sales have not yet fully recovered from financial turmoil that swept across the globe late last year.

"The aggressive actions we've taken to reduce our costs and inventory are paying off," Chief Executive Mike Thaman said in a statement. "We sustained strong financial performance and generated significant cash flow driven by our outstanding results in roofing."

The Toledo manufacturer of building materials and fiberglass said it had a profit for the quarter of $80 million from a loss of $807 million in the third quarter of 2008. The year-ago loss stemmed from an accounting charge related to income taxes and prior losses.

Quarterly sales fell to $1.3 billion from $1.6 billion a year ago. Higher selling prices for roofing shingles helped make up for lower sales across most product lines.

The firm's fiberglass unit, which the company refers to as composites, returned to profitable. But demand for fiberglass—which is mixed with plastic to make material for boats, skis, and other products—is steadily increasing after plunging 45 percent last December but "has not yet recovered to levels seen in the first nine months of 2008," officials said.

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