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Losses narrow at USG Corp.

Fourth-quarter sales increased 8% for the Chicago-based building products company as the operating loss narrowed to $42 million.

“While some markets remain at or near historically low levels, all of our businesses continue to benefit from the strategic actions we have taken to reduce costs and strengthen our operations,” said James Metcalf, chairman, president and CEO. “United States Gypsum Company and L&W Supply Corporation, our two largest businesses, reduced their reported operating losses in 2011 compared with the prior year, while many of our other key units achieved an operating profit in 2011.”

A highlight for 2011 was the performance of the company's Sheetrock Brand UltraLight wallboard products, Metcalf added.

USG fourth-quarter sales were $750 million, compared with $696 million in the same quarter last year. For the full year, sales were $3.024 billion, up 2.9% compared with $2.939 billion in 2010.

Operating loss for the quarter was $42 million, compared with a loss of $95 million in the same period last year. The company's operating loss of $197 million for the full year compares with an operating loss of $260 million in 2010.


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