April 23, 2008 / 11:28 AM / 10 years ago

Norbord doubles loss as charges, U.S. market weigh

TORONTO (Reuters) - Norbord Inc NBD.TO reported on Wednesday a first-quarter loss that almost doubled from the previous year as severance charges and a weak U.S. housing market sapped demand for its key wood product.

Norbord, which makes such products as oriented strand board used in construction, reported a loss of $31 million, or 21 cents a share, in the first quarter. That compares with a loss of $16 million, or 11 cents a share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

The company said the results included a $4 million pre-tax charge, or 2 cents per share, related to severance for the closure of the particleboard line at Genk, Belgium.

Revenue was $234 million, down 10.3 percent from $261 million.

The company said North American OSB prices dropped to its lowest level in more than a decade during the quarter, but expected prices to stabilize in the second and third quarters. However, it said the “industry will remain under considerable pressure in 2008 and 2009.”

($1=$1.01 Canadian)

Reporting by Scott Anderson

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