Eagle Materials’ first half turnover, including its share of the Texan cement joint venture with HeidelbergCement, came off by 0.4% to US$298.48m for the six months of the end of September and the trading profit fell by 29% to US$29.5m.
Other expenses increased 5.8% and the net interest charge rose 8.3% to US$9.1m, leading to a 52.9% drop in the pre-tax profit to US$11.8m. Net debt of US$274.3m at the end of September represented 59.4% of shareholders’ funds.
Turnover from cement improved 1.8% to US$130.5m. Sales by the wholly-owned operations declined by 5.2% to US$86.6m, but the group’s share of the Texas Lehigh joint venture rose 19.3% to US$43.85m. The trading profit was down 7.2% to US$23.9m, with the joint venture in Texas increasing its contribution by 25.4%, but wholly-owned businesses recorded a 30.3% drop to US$10.5m. Group cement deliveries were 1.0% higher at 1.35Mt (1.49Mst), with the Buda joint venture seeing volumes improve by 12.7% but the wholly-owned tonnage was off by 3.5%. The average cement price edged ahead by 0.7% to US$73.70/t (US$81.24/st).
Turnover from aggregates and ready-mixed concrete recovered by 6.1% to US$25.4m, but there was a trading loss of US$0.2m, compared with a US$0.8m profit a year earlier. Aggregates shipments were down 2.7% to 1.25Mt (1.38Mst), and the average price drifted 0.5% lower to US$6.55/t. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries recovered by 16.7% to 0.21Mm³, but the average price was 4.3% lower at US$47.96/m3.
Turnover in the plasterboard and related activities declined by 3.4% to US$142.6m, while the trading profit dropped from US$14.1m to just US$5.8m, a 59.2% drop. A US$1.3m trading loss was incurred in plasterboard compared with a US$6.5m profit a year earlier, while the trading profit in liner board declined by 7.3% to US$7.1m. Plasterboard deliveries declined by 4.2% to 75.7m m², and the average plasterboard price fell by 6.3%.