Including its share of the jointly-owned Texas Lehigh Cement, the turnover of Eagle Materials for the first nine months of the trading year to the 31st of December, edged up by 0.8% to US$422.7m. The trading profit before corporate overheads declined by 15.1% to US$56.8m, with cement being, by far, the biggest contributor, accounting for 72.3% of the total.
The pre-tax profit fell by 15.9% to US$31.6m, but the net profit was just 5.1% lower at US$25.7m. Shareholders’ funds at the end of December amounted to US$468.7m, 4.8% higher than a year earlier, giving a gearing level of 69.7%.
The turnover in cement eased by 1.6% in the period to US$181.6m. Of this, the wholly-owned operations saw sales value decline by 7.5% to US$125.7m, but the group’s share of the Texas joint venture with HeidelbergCement rose 14.8% to US$55.9m, having dropped by 35.9% in the previous year. Margins narrowed and the trading profit fell by 17.9% to US$41.0m.
Cement deliveries attributable to the group were 3.5% higher at 1.9Mt (2.1Mst), with volumes at the Buda joint venture being 16.1% higher, compared with a 1.0% reduction in the subsidiaries. The average cement price achieved over the first nine months declined by 6.8% compared with a 10.6% reduction a year earlier. This made the price US$88.75 per tonne (US$80.51/st), with the price for the third quarter being 4.6% lower at US$88.30 (US$80.11/st).