Eagle Materials, until last year known as Centex Construction Products, has reported a 20.8% increase in turnover to US$150.3m in the first quarter of its 2004/05 financial year, with the trading profit jumping by 56.2% to US$38.0m. A near trebling of profits in the gypsum business led to the cement operations losing the traditional position as the prime source of the group’s profits.
Cement deliveries were 13.8% higher at 0.69m tonnes (0.76m short tons) and turnover rose by 15.0% to US$55.7m, with the trading profit improving by 16.5% to US$13.0m. A price increase in April helped boost the average selling price by 2.7% to US$68.34 per short ton (US$75.33/tonne) and the amount of cement bought in from third parties was 53% higher as capacity was already used to the full. A price increase, ranging from US$3.00 to US$5.00 depending on the area, has been announced across all Eagle’s markets to come into effect during August, reflecting tight domestic supply and higher costs of imported cement.