Eagle Materials, formerly Centex Construction Products, generated a turnover 17.1 per cent higher at US$502.6m for the year to the end of March 2004. The trading profit rose by 13.1 per cent to US$115.2m and the pre-tax profit emerged at US$102.1m, an increase of 17.9 per cent. On the back of a positive volume and price outlook, the group’s management expects strong growth in net profits for the current financial year.
Cement is the main profit earner and contributed a trading profit of US$50.5m, 43.8 per cent of the group total but 8.4 per cent below the level of the previous year. The lower profitability reflects lower prices and higher costs. The average price achieved was 1.2 per cent lower at US$66.02/st, or US$72.76 per tonne. In the traditionally weaker final January to March quarter, cement prices were 1.8 per cent higher than in the same period last year at US$71.41/t. The tonnage sold was 6.6 per cent higher at 2.28Mt, of which 1.07Mt was the group’s share of joint ventures. Turnover from the cement operations, including associates, rose by 5.2 per cent to US$178.6m. Eagle Materials expects cement demand to remain strong across its markets over the coming months and price increases of US$3 to US$5 per short ton were implemented in all markets at the beginning of April, with the exception of Texas – where a US$4/st price increase introduced in January has largely held.