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Martin Marietta, Vulcan close record year neck-and-neck in sales, profits

Sources: Martin Marietta Materials, Raleigh, N.C.; Vulcan Materials Co., Birmingham, Ala.; CP staff

The two largest public companies in construction materials, Martin Marietta and Vulcan, cite 2016 sales gains of 9.5 percent and 5 percent, respectively, against prior year figures, despite only minor shipment increases in their core product, aggregate. In a year that brought each record sales and stock valuations, the producers realized the effects of regional market gains or lapses on their aggregate, ready mixed concrete, cement and asphalt production portfolios:

2016 metric                         Martin Marietta                   Vulcan Materials           

Net sales                                 $3.58 billion                           $3.59 billion

EBITDA                                   $972 million                           $966 million

Aggregates 

Volume                                  159 million tons                    181 million tons

Pricing (vs. 2015)                   + 7.3 percent                          + 7 percent

Ready mixed 

Volume                                   8.5 million yd.                         3 million yd.

Pricing (vs. 2015)                   + 8.3 percent                          + 3 percent

“By almost any meaningful measure, 2016 was a remarkable year. We are beginning 2017 with the strongest profitability and cash generation outlook we have ever seen,” says Martin Marietta CEO Ward Nye. “We continue to focus not only on the operations, but on best practices needed to make Martin Marietta not just the best aggregates company, but rather one of the world’s best companies. Looking to the year ahead, we expect our key profit drivers—pricing, volume and cost—to remain positive.”

“Our solid [2016] results and outlook for 2017 demonstrate a continuation of longer-term trends in volume recovery, price increases, and margin expansion,” notes Vulcan CEO Tom Hill. “We remain focused on compounding improvement in profitability and cash flows, and expect them to continue—not only for 2017 but for years to come. The strong fundamentals of our aggregates-focused business and outstanding improvement in core profitability have led to strong earnings growth during the last three years of recovery. In 2017, we expect continued growth across the vast majority of our markets and across each of the end use segments we serve.”