M/I Homes (NYSE:MHO), Columbus, Ohio, Thursday reported a a net loss of $19.9 million(-$1.26 per share) for its second quarter ended June 30, a considerable improvement from a loss of $94.1 million (-$6.72 per share) during the comparable quarter last year. Moreover, the company reported increases in new orders, deliveries and backlog.

The loss included $8.0 million in asset impairments, and other charges of$2.9 million primarily for issues related to imported drywall and severance.

Revenue was down 17.6% to $116.6 million. second quarter of 2008. Homes delivered, however, were up 3% to 492. The company did not break out the average sales price for delivered homes, but prices on homes in backlog have declined, and the company is currently focusing on its new line of entry-level homes, which would bring the average sales price down.

New orders were up 43% from last year's second quarter to 759. The sales value of backlog of homes at June 30, 2009 increased to $260 million with backlog units increasing 26% to 1,106 and an average sales price of $235,000, compared with 880 with a value of $254 million and a price of $289,000 at the same time last year. M/I's community count was down 23% to106 from 138 last June.

The company's lot count was down to 9,150 from 13,020 at the end of June last year, 7,732 owned and 1,418 under contract.

The company ended the quarter with $104 million in cash, no borrowings on its revolver and no debt maturing before 2012. G&A was down marginally to $16.4 million from $17.1 million; selling expense fell to $9.6 million from $13.1 million for last year's second quarter.

The company said its net debt-to-capital ratio was 21% at quarter's end, down from 34% at the end of last year's second quarter.

So far this year, M/I has booked $5.2 million in expenses related to defective Chinese drywall.

"During the quarter, we successfully launched our eco series, a new line of homes designed to appeal to first time homebuyers and others interested in a more efficient and economical lifestyle," said Robert H. Schottenstein, president and CEO. "We are currently selling our eco series in several of our Columbus and Cincinnati communities and initial market reaction has been quite strong. We plan to offer this series in most of our markets by year end."

"Economic conditions remain difficult and unpredictable," Schottenstein added. "We therefore will maintain our predominantly defensive operating strategy."

Shares of M/I were up 2.5% to $12.55 in mid-afternoon trading amid an up day for the Dow and S&P and most of the builder group.

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