Including its share of the jointly-owned Texas Lehigh Cement, the turnover of Eagle Materials for the financial year to the end of March declined by a further 17.6% to US$697.8m, having fallen by 15.2% in the previous year.
Of the total turnover, cement accounted for 41.5%, plasterboard for 40.0%, plasterboard liner for 9.6% and aggregates & concrete for 9.4%. The pre-tax profit, which had dropped by 52.6% in 2007/08 went down by a further 56.9% last year to US$62.2m, with the main profit deterioration coming from the wholly-owned cement businesses, while the plasterboard operations returned to profit. The net attributable fell by 57.3% to US$41.8m. Net debt declined by 11.5% to US$337.2m, which represented a gearing level of 78.8%
Turnover from cement declined by 16.2% to US$289.4m of which the wholly owned operations registered a 21.7% drop to US$187.2m, while Eagle Material’s share of the Texas joint venture with HeidelbergCement again performed rather better by declining by a much more modest 1.5% to US$95.6m. The 36.0% reduction in the trading profit to US$10.3m is made up of the combination of a 55.6% drop in the wholly-owned operations to US$3.3m and a 19.2% reduction in the contribution from associates. Illinois Cement was particularly badly affected by the combination of a harsh winter and weak Midwest construction markets. Eagle Material’s average cement price in the year was virtually unchanged at $105.85/t (US$96.03/st). Cement deliveries were 17.5% lower at 2.56Mt (2.83Mst) comprising of a 21.8% fall in volumes in the subsidiaries to 1.69MT(1.86m sort tons), partially mitigated by a smaller reduction of 7.8% to 0.88m tonnes in the Texas joint venture business.