Sales were up.9 percent for Builders FirstSource Inc., according to its recently filed quarterly report for the period ended March 31, 2011.

“This is despite the difficult housing environment and commodity prices for lumber and lumber sheet goods being, on average, comparable to the first quarter of 2010,” said a company press release. “We have continued to experience the same competitive pricing conditions that we have been faced with in recent years. However, our gross margin increased 1.1 percentage points during the quarter compared to the prior year due to a slight increase in sales volume along with a decrease of fixed costs in cost of goods sold.”

The company adds that it has continued to manage its operating expenses during this downturn with its key focus being to conserve liquidity.

“During the quarter, our selling, general and administrative expenses decreased $2.7 million, or 5.5 percent, from the same period a year ago largely due to a reduction of our average full-time equivalent headcount of approximately 7.0 percent,” says the company. “The continued execution of our cost containment strategies along with our improved operating results contributed to us ending the quarter with $115.4 million of total liquidity, which includes $77.6 million of cash and $37.8 million of net borrowing availability under our credit facility.”

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