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Fairborn keeps Eagle sailing through 3Q17 storm

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World Cement,

Eagle Materials’ cement business recorded a positive 3Q17, as the acquisition of the Fairborn cement plant from Cemex last year helped drive up cement sales. Prices were also up over the quarter.

Total cement sales volumes for the quarter – including sales from the Fairborn plant – were 1.6 million short t, an increase of 9% on the previous year. Average sales prices were 7% higher than the same quarter in 2016 at US$106.96 per short t.

Excluding the Fairborn business, sales would have been down 5%, as shipments were hit by adverse weather in the company’s Midwestern markets, as well as hurricane flooding along the Texas Gulf Coast. Prices ex-Fairborn would have increased by just 5%.

Eagle Materials bought the Fairborn plant in Ohio last year for US$400 million. The sale also included a cement terminal in Colombus, Ohio. The plant has the capacity to grind nearly 1 million tpy of clinker.

The impact of the Fairborn acquisition and the higher sales prices more than to offset the lower sales from legacy facilities and an increase in operational costs at the company’s Nevada cement plant – a result of a project to upgrade pollution control equipment. Earnings for the cement business were up to a record US$58.8 million – a 16% increase on the previous year.

Overall, the company reported earnings up 3% at US$92.3 million. In addition to cement, Eagle Materials manufactures and distributes, gypsum wallboard, recycled paperboard, concrete and aggregates, and oil and gas proppants.

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