M/I Homes Inc., Columbus, Ohio (NYSE:MHO) Thursday reported a net loss of$21.1 million (-$1.14 per share) for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, down from a loss of $58.7 million (-$4.18 per share) in last year's third quarter. The loss included $15.0 million in impairments and a $4.4 million charge related to Chinese drywall.

Revenues fell modestly to $152.7 million from $160.4 million in last year's quarter. Deliveries were up 20% to 665. New Orders were up 36% to 619.Backlog also was up 36% to 1,060 with a sales value of $263 million, up from$212 million at the same time last year, with an average sales price of $248,000, down from $272,000 at the end of September, 2008.

Community count fell to 105 from 138 on September 30, 2008. Lot count fell to 9,250, 7,300 owned and 1,950 optioned, down from 11,156 at the end of last year's quarter.

Gross margin, including the write-downs, moved up to 16.8% from 11.8% in last year's quarter. SG&A declined to $26 million from $32 million a year ago.

M/I ended the quarter with $103 million in cash, no borrowings on its bank facility and no debt maturing before 2012. The net debt-to-capital ratio stood was 23%.

Robert H. Schottenstein, M/I president and CEO, pointed out that the company generated $1.2 million in EBITDA and and operating loss of $1.2 million."Our predominantly defensive operating strategy and cost reduction efforts have served us well as we have significantly reduced our operating loss over the past 12 months," he said. "The adjustments we have made to our product offering, including our new 'ecoSeries' and the strengthening of our line of affordable homes have contributed to our sales increase."

He added, however, "Looking ahead, economic conditions are likely to remain challenging and unpredictable."

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