Eagle Materials saw its turnover fall by 20.1% to US$171.8m in its first quarter to the end of June, while the pre-tax profit dropped by 80.4% to US$10.9m, as the fall in housebuilding activity made its presence increasingly felt. Because of the losses incurred in the plasterboard operations, the trading profit from the cement operations accounted for 98.5% of the group total.
Turnover from cement declined by 11.2% to US$86.32m, of which the wholly-owned operations experienced a 20.6% decline to US$56.8m but Eagle Material’s share of the Texas Lehigh joint venture produced a 17.2% profit advance to US$27.6m.
The trading profit fell by 18.0% to US$22.6m as the 28% profit improvement by the joint venture in Texas was more than swallowed by the 31% reduction in the wholly-owned businesses. Consolidated cement deliveries were 13.3% lower at 0.76Mt (0.84Mst), with an 8.1% advance at the Buda joint venture being eliminated by the 21.1% drop in the wholly-owned tonnage, with most of the decline being at the Illinois works, which was also affected by poor weather in the Midwest in the period, and a reduction of the amount of cement bought in for sale in Nevada of around a fifth. The average cement price improved by 1.3% to $107.50 per tonne (US$97.52/short ton).