Vulcan looks for a much better second half

Vulcan looks for a much better second half
Published: 27 July 2012

Tagged Under: Vulcan Materials 

Vulcan Materials’ first half turnover improved by 3.4 per cent to US$1,230.0m, but the EBITDA was off by 0.9 per cent to US$145.1m. After a net interest charge 6.4 per cent lower at US$106.0m, the pre-tax loss for the period declined by 12.9 per cent to US$130.2m. If ignoring the US$42,1m defence costs against the unsolicited bid from the much smaller Martin Marietta Materials, the pre-tax loss was 41.3 per cent down to US$88.1m. A 27.8 per cent reduction in tax losses to US$56.1m meant that the net attributable loss still increased by 11.9 per cent, to US$70.3m.

Capital investment in the period was reduced by 34.8 per cent to US$33.6m. The net debt emerged 6.4 per cent lower at US$2655.2m, to give a gearing level of 70.9 per cent. For the full year, Vulcan expects an EBITDA in the region of US$500m.

Turnover from aggregates recovered by 2.1 per cent to US$826.8m, with external sales being 2.4 per cent ahead.  The volume improved by 3.5 per cent to 61.85Mt (68.18Mst). The average price achieved was 0.3 per cent lower at US$11.38/t. Double-digit growth rates were achieved in the second quarter in important states like Texas, Florida, Illinois and Alabama and shipments in California and Virginia continued to grow, but declines in the region of 15 per cent were seen in Georgia and the Carolinas. For the full year, both volumes and prices for aggregates are expected to improve in the 1-3 per cent range. 

Ready-mixed concrete and concrete products turnover recovered strongly, rising by 8.4 per cent to US$195.2m and ready-mixed concrete deliveries were ahead by 8.8 per cent to 1.55Mm³ on average prices that were 0.1 per cent ahead at US$120.45/m³. Sales of asphalt mix generated at turnover 0.3 per cent lower at US$175m, with prices improving by 2.3 per cent to US$60.46/t on volumes were 3.6 per cent lower at 2.83Mt, but forward orders in California suggest a better second half.

Vulcan sold 0.40Mt (0.44Mst) of cement in the six months, a 26 per cent increase, with inter-group deliveries improving by 5.5 per cent to 0.21Mt and third-party sales advancing by 61.4 per cent to 0.19Mt. The average cement price recovered by one per cent to US$86/t (US$78.02/st), and the turnover recovered by 22.5 per cent to US$40.84m. The gross loss was reduced from US$4.6m a year ago to USUS$1.7m this time and by the end of the year ought to be close to a break even situation.