M/I Homes (NYSE: MHO), based in Columbus, Ohio, this morning reported a$22.2 million loss ($1.58 per share) for the first quarter of 2008 on a 28% drop from year-ago levels in revenue to $156.1 million and declines in both sales and closings.

The company also took $22.3 million in land related charges for the quarter.

New contracts were written on 554 homes, a 40.5% drop from 931 during the first quarter of last year. Homes delivered fell by 34.4% to 450 from last year's 686. Backlog on March 31 had a sales value of $243 million, with an average sales price of $297,000 and backlog units of 816, down 55.2% in dollar value, down 8% in sales price and down 67.6% in units.

M/I cut its owned lot count by 10% during the quarter, on top of a 30% reduction in 2007, bring the total number of lots owned or under contract to 13,997, with 12,328 of those owned. It also cut its active communities by 8% to 148 at the end of the quarter.

"We generated $99 million of cash during the quarter resulting in a further reduction of our homebuilding bank borrowings from $115 million at December 31, 2007 to $42 million at March 31, 2008," said Robert H. Schottenstein, president and CEO. "Our debt to capital ratio at quarter¹s end stands at 31% and represents one of the lowest debt levels in our industry. And, we remain on target to reduce the borrowings on our credit facility to zero by year end."

Shares of M/I were down 2.3% at $17.61 on light volume in midmorning trading.