Nonresidential drives Martin Marietta’s first quarter aggregates growth

By |  April 29, 2014

Martin Marietta Materials Inc. released its first-quarter report April 29, touting net sales increases of 10 percent and increases in aggregate product line volumes.

“Our first-quarter 2014 results reflect the continued economic momentum from 2013’s fourth quarter, as well as successful execution of our strategic initiatives to improve performance and maintain a lean cost structure,” says Ward Nye, president and CEO of Martin Marietta Materials, in a press release. “This combination helped drive both revenue growth and improved profitability.”

According to the press release, Martin Marietta’s aggregates product line shipments increased 8 percent, with March shipments increasing 13 percent compared with 2013. Nye says that’s an indicator of accelerating demand as the construction season begins.

Aggregates product line shipments achieved double-digit growth in three of the four end-use markets Martin Marietta measures. Volumes to the nonresidential market represented 34 percent of quarterly shipments and increased 13 percent, according to a press release, reflecting growth in the commercial and energy sectors. The residential end-use market accounted for 15 percent of quarterly shipments, and volumes to this market increased 16 percent, with growth in the Southeast and West. Martin Marietta’s chemrock/rail market accounted for 12 percent of volumes, with higher ballast and agricultural lime shipments driving this market’s 14 percent growth. Shipments to the infrastructure market were flat and comprised the remaining 39 percent of the aggregates product line.

In addition, Martin Marietta’s specialty products business posted first-quarter record net sales, according to Nye.

“Private construction continues to be solid across all of our geographies,” he says. “We also noted public-sector volume growth in Texas and Colorado, where robust state-funding programs are providing additional funds for transportation investment. Public construction in other areas, however, continues to be unsettled by uncertainty in long-term federal funding.

Nye also weighed in on Martin Marietta’s pending merger with Texas Industries.

“The combination provides an expanded platform for growth and greater leverage to construction activity in Texas and California, thus creating long-term value for shareholders of both companies,” Nye says. “We are cooperating with regulatory agencies; the process is advancing as planned.

“Looking ahead, we are encouraged by numerous macroeconomic indicators, including employment growth, which suggests increased construction activity,” he continues. “We expect private-sector construction to benefit from significant shale energy projects, improvements in general nonresidential construction and further recovery in the housing market.”

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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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