January 30, 2009 / 1:28 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Canada's Norbord Q4 loss widens on weak housing market

* Q4 loss $0.19/shr vs market loss view $0.15/shr

* Sales fall 27 pct at $191 mln

* Results hurt by higher input costs, reduced output

* Sees no housing recovery in 2009 in U.S., Europe

Jan 30 (Reuters) - Norbord Inc NBD.TO, a Canada-based producer of wood-based panels, posted a wider fourth-quarter loss that missed market view, as the U.S.- and European housing markets slump continued to drain demand for its products.

The results were also hurt by higher input costs caused by peak oil prices and a 30 percent cut in its European capacity in the fourth quarter.

The company, which has 15 factories in North America and Europe, posted a loss of $30 million, or 19 cents per share, for the quarter, compared with a loss of $13 million, or 9 cents per share, a year ago.

Norbord does not expect any recovery in the housing markets in North America or Europe during 2009, and plans to limit capital expenditures to less than $25 million in 2009.

Consumer confidence and housing-related spending are expected to weaken further in 2009, Norbord said, and forecast signs of a U.S. housing recovery in 2010 or early 2011, with recovery in the UK pacing slightly behind.

Norbord said North American benchmark price for its oriented strand boards (OSB) averaged at $170 in the fourth quarter, down $31 from the third quarter.

To overcome the ongoing slump in the housing market, the Toronto-based company, which also produces plywood and particleboard, has curtailed production, cut jobs, raised cash, suspended dividend and amended credit lines.

Shares of Norbord, which have lost more than 85 percent of their value in the last six months, closed at 68 Canadian cents Thursday on the Toronto Stock exchange. (Reporting by R. Manikandan in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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