Vulcan Materials’ first half turnover decreased by 0.8% to US$1,438.0m, while the EBITDA improved by 7.7% to US$431.4m and the running profit before tax advanced by 5.7% to US$299.9m. Aggregates shipments in the six months were 12.0% lower at 100.83m tonnes (111,15m short tons), but prices remained strong and aggregates turnover improved by 1.5% to US$1,044.9m. Aggregates prices are expected to rise by some 12% to 13% for the full year, while volumes are expected to decline by around 7%, suggesting a decline of just 2% in the second half. Turnover from the asphalt business improved by 5.5% to US$222.9m though volumes retreated by 12.4% to 4.21m tonnes (4.65m short tons), while ready-mixed concrete deliveries dropped by 30.4% to 0.83m m³. However, higher prices for cement and aggregates limited the reduction in turnover to 24.4% to US$103.6m.
The take-over of Florida Rock by Vulcan Materials is progressing according to plan and should be voted through by Florida Rock shareholders on the 14th of August. Florida Rock has been more affected than Vulcan by the drop in housebuilding activity, with its turnover for the nine months to the end of June falling by 20.5% to US$820.4m and the trading profit before overheads declining by 33.1% to US$177.6m and the pre-tax profit by 33.7% to US$165.2m. Florida Rock’s nine month cement shipments dropped by 27.4% to 1.19m tonnes (1.32m short tons), with average prices improving by 1.6% to US$109.58 per tonne (US$99.41 per short ton), but prices were lower in the third quarter. In aggregates, Florida Rock saw nine-month volumes decline by 18.5%, to 24.7m tonnes, but average prices moving ahead by 17.4%, while in ready-mixed concrete volumes fell by 24.6% but prices improved by 7.4%. A worse scenario was seen in concrete blocks, where volumes dropped by 45.2%.