How Martin Marietta reached new highs in 2019

By |  February 21, 2020
Headshot: Ward Nye, Martin Marietta


2019 was the most profitable year in the history of Martin Marietta, the company reported upon releasing its fourth-quarter 2019 and 2019 year-end results.

Shipments and pricing improved in 2019 for aggregate, cement and asphalt, Martin Marietta says, and the company’s outlook for 2020 reflects continuing steady growth in aggregate shipments and pricing.

“Driven by improved shipments, pricing and profitability across the vast majority of our building materials business, we achieved our eighth consecutive year of growth for revenues, gross profit, adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) and earnings per diluted share,” says Ward Nye, chairman, president and CEO of Martin Marietta. “This year’s (2019) record-setting results, combined with our team’s shared commitment to safety and operational excellence, yielded a 64 percent total shareholder return.

“Building on this momentum and our more than 25-year history as a public company, Martin Marietta is well-positioned for responsible, long-term growth and further shareholder value creation in 2020 and beyond,” Nye adds.

Aggregate performance

In the fourth quarter, Martin Marietta’s aggregate shipments and pricing improved 4 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively.

Shipments for Martin Marietta’s Mid-America Group increased 3.5 percent, driven primarily by wind energy and data center projects in the Midwest. Lower infrastructure shipments and unfavorable product mix limited pricing growth to 1 percent, the company adds.

Shipments for Martin Marietta’s Southeast Group increased 7.5 percent, reflecting strong private-sector construction activity in the north Georgia and Florida markets that was partially tempered by infrastructure project delays. Pricing improved 3 percent, the company says.

West Group shipments at Martin Marietta, meanwhile, increased 3.4 percent, driven by strong underlying Texas demand that was offset by Colorado’s weather-impacted construction delays and unanticipated operating downtime. Pricing growth of 12.9 percent reflected favorable product mix and a higher percentage of commercial rail-shipped volumes, according to Martin Marietta.

The outlook

Martin Marietta remains confident as it looks toward the months ahead.

According to the company, its geographic footprint has attractive underlying market fundamentals, including notable employment gains, population growth and superior state fiscal health that should promote steady and sustainable construction growth over the near- and medium-terms.

Supported by region-specific third-party forecasts and underlying demand trends, Martin Marietta believes the current construction cycle will continue for the foreseeable future and expand at a steady pace in 2020 for its primary construction end-use markets.

“We believe construction growth in Martin Marietta’s top 10 states will continue to outpace national averages and serves to reinforce our positive pricing outlook,” Nye says. “Further supported by attractive market fundamentals and demand trends across our geographic footprint, as well as region-specific third-party forecasts, we expect the current construction cycle to expand at a steady and sustainable pace.

“Specifically, we anticipate infrastructure shipments, particularly for aggregates-intensive highways and streets, to meaningfully benefit from lettings and contract awards in our key states, strong federal and state funding levels, and proposed regulatory reform,” Nye adds.

In fact, Martin Marietta expects 2020 to be another record year for the company.

“Our ability to repeatedly deliver industry-leading safety, financial and operational performance demonstrates the successful execution of our proven strategy and our steadfast dedication to the world-class attributes of our business – including, safety, ethics, cost discipline and operational excellence,” Nye says. “Importantly, we continue to strengthen this foundation for long-term success through strategic geographic positioning, cost management, price discipline, sustainable practices and prudent capital allocation.”

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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