The Seattle-based company recorded earnings of US$45m for the period, down from US$94m a year ago. Sales were US$369m, a dip from US$414m.

“Our results are consistent with our expectations, reflecting softer timber markets compared to the first quarter last year,” said president and chief executive officer Rick Holley.

He said the decline in housing starts had led to lower lumber demand, while commodity lumber prices were 24% lower than a year ago.

“While the near-term housing outlook remains unsettled, we believe that the underlying demographics of the nation speak to very healthy demand for new homes and wood products over the coming decade.”