Martin Marietta achieved record earnings in 2017

By |  February 13, 2018

2017 was a highly positive year for the aggregate industry at large. And it was undoubtedly a successful one for Martin Marietta.

Martin Marietta, which released its fourth-quarter and full-year 2017 results Feb. 13, revealed that its fourth-quarter total revenues for its building materials business were $903 million, up 2.1 percent from $884.7 million. For the year, Martin Marietta’s building materials revenues were about $3.69 billion, up about 3.7 percent from $3.56 billion in 2016.

“By nearly all meaningful measures, 2017 was an extraordinary year for Martin Marietta,” says Ward Nye, chairman, president and CEO of Martin Marietta, who also offered an outlook for the company upon releasing the company’s latest performance results. “Among our accomplishments are two significant milestones – the best safety performance in our history and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) exceeding $1 billion. We also delivered record revenues, profitability and earnings per diluted share for both the fourth quarter and full year, building on the momentum created by record performance in prior years.


“Even more noteworthy, we achieved these safety and financial results despite externally driven volume headwinds prevalent throughout much of the year that reduced full-year aggregates volumes by 1 million tons compared with 2016 and almost 9 million tons as measured against our initial 2017 guidance,” Nye adds. “Our ability to post record results despite these external factors, among them extraordinary weather events, contractor labor constraints and a slower-than-expected pace of public contract lettings, validates the successful execution of our strategic plan and underpins our optimism for a steady and extended cyclical recovery as we begin 2018.”

In the fourth quarter, Martin Marietta’s average selling prices improved across all of the company’s product lines and segments. Aggregate product line fourth-quarter pricing improved 4 percent despite lower shipment volumes.

The Mid-America and Southeast Groups generated aggregate product line pricing growth of 6.9 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively, for the fourth quarter, driven by continued price discipline, the company says. Product mix and ongoing competitive pressures led to relatively flat aggregate pricing for Martin Marietta’s West Group.

Overall, fourth-quarter aggregate product line shipments decreased slightly, driven by government uncertainty, labor constraints and ongoing project delays, particularly in the Mid-America and West Groups, the company adds. The Southeast Group reported aggregate volume growth of 5.6 percent, driven by strong nonresidential construction and improving public construction activity.

Infrastructure market highlights

Martin Marietta’s aggregate product line shipments to the infrastructure market increased slightly over the prior-year fourth quarter. Continued underinvestment in the nation’s infrastructure, coupled with marginal construction activity from the FAST Act and ongoing project delays, limited the growth in overall infrastructure shipments, according to the company.

Still, Martin Marietta’s West and Southeast Groups reported growth in infrastructure shipments. Overall, aggregate product line shipments to the infrastructure market comprised 38 percent of fourth-quarter aggregate product line volumes, well below the company’s most recent five-year average of 43 percent.

Nonresidential market highlights

Martin Marietta’s aggregate product line shipments to the nonresidential market decreased 7 percent during the fourth quarter. While the Southeast Group reported strong industrial construction growth, the West Group reported a double-digit decline in nonresidential shipments due to the completion of several large energy-related projects in 2016 that were not immediately replaced in 2017. Martin Marietta’s management expects the next wave of these projects to bid in 2018.

The nonresidential market represented 31 percent of the company’s fourth-quarter aggregate product line shipments.

Residential market highlights

Martin Marietta’s aggregate product line shipments to the residential market increased 9 percent during the fourth quarter, driven by continued strength in housing across the company’s geographic footprint, particularly in the West and Southeast. The residential market accounted for 24 percent of fourth-quarter aggregate product line shipments.

ChemRock/rail market highlights

Martin Marietta’s aggregate product line volumes for the ChemRock/rail market declined 10 percent versus the prior-year quarter, driven by reduced agricultural lime shipments. The ChemRock/rail market accounted for the remaining 7 percent of fourth-quarter aggregate product line shipments.

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Kevin Yanik

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

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