Vulcan’s James offers insight for year ahead

By |  February 6, 2014

What’s in store for Vulcan Materials Co. over the next 11 months? Don James, Vulcan’s chairman and CEO, says he expects aggregates demand in a number of markets to increase over the prior year for the first time in a decade.

“External industry forecasts suggest a recovery in U.S. construction activity is underway – and we concur,” James says, in a press release unveiling the company’s 2013 fourth-quarter results. “In 2014, we expect U.S. aggregates demand in each of the major end markets – residential, nonresidential buildings, highways and other public infrastructure – to increase over the prior year for the first time since 2004. Even better, we expect growth in Vulcan-served markets to outperform other markets, led by continued improvement in private construction activity.”

In addition, James says Vulcan continues to track a number of large-scale transportation and industrial projects that it expects to contribute to the company’s growth this year.

“While the timing of these large projects can be difficult to forecast, we expect these projects to play a meaningful role in our full-year volumes again in 2014,” James says. “As a result, we expect aggregates shipments in 2014 to increase 4 to 7 percent from the prior year. We expect this year-over-year volume growth to occur across most of our key markets and provide positive momentum for broad-based price growth.”

James says he expects the average freight-adjusted selling price to increase between 3 and 5 percent.

“Our confidence in a sustained multi-year recovery in demand for aggregates continues to grow,” he says. “Our markets are recovering off trough levels of demand and appear to be outpacing other markets. To support this level of future shipments for 2014 and beyond and to improve further our production costs and operating efficiencies, we anticipate increasing our capital spending in 2014 to approximately $220 million.”

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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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