For its first quarter year to the end of June, Eagle Materials produced a turnover 14% lower at US$221.2m, principally reflecting lower plasterboard volumes and prices, while cement continued to show positive trends and overtook plasterboard as the largest contributor to profits. The trading profit before corporate overheads declined by 31.7% to US$65.4m. The net interest charge just over doubled by rising 103.9% to US$3.6m, leaving the pre-tax 36.0% lower at to US$57.5m.
Cement turnover improved by 9.8% to US$95.0m, of which the wholly-owned operations accounted for 75.2% and Eagle Materials’ share of the joint venture with HeidelbergCement at Buda, Texas, for the remainder. The trading profit contribution increased by 25.9% to US$27.6m. Cement shipments were 5.8% higher at 0.91m tonnes (0.96m short tons), with all of the increase coming from the Buda joint venture. The group continues to buy in cement, but purchases from third parties declined by some 19% to 0.18m tonnes, while the own production increased thanks to the expansion of the Illinois Cement works. Average cement prices were 5.7% ahead compared with the same period in the previous year at US$106.12 per tonne (US$96.27/short ton).