Weather, softening demand impact Martin Marietta in Q1

By |  May 1, 2024
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Total revenues, gross profit and aggregate shipments decreased in the first quarter at Martin Marietta, although the company’s gross profit tied to aggregates increased modestly.

First-quarter pricing growth in aggregates offset aggregate shipment declines, according to Martin Marietta.

First-quarter aggregate shipments decreased 12.3 percent to 36.6 million tons. Martin Marietta largely attributes the decline to a weather-impacted start to the year in the East and Southwest. Softening demand in nonresidential construction – including warehouse, office and retail – also played a role.

Still, Martin Marietta says first-quarter weather was more favorable in its Central and West divisions. Additionally, Martin Marietta says the average selling price of aggregates increased 12.2 percent in the first quarter to $22.26 per ton.

“The first quarter was highlighted by numerous significant events that, taken together, should be very beneficial to the company this year and into the future,” says Ward Nye, chairman and CEO of Martin Marietta. “Namely, Martin Marietta completed over $4.5 billion of portfolio-enhancing transactions thus far in 2024, increased our aggregates gross profit per ton by over 14 percent for the quarter, and achieved record quarterly gross profit in our Magnesia Specialties business – all notwithstanding the year’s weather-challenged start in our most profitable markets.”

Martin Marietta maintains a positive outlook as it looks ahead.

“Our positive outlook also reflects continued pricing momentum together with the product demand we expect from record federal- and state-level infrastructure investments, large-scale heavy industrial activity, data centers and energy projects, which should counterbalance softer residential and warehouse construction demand, as well as an anticipated moderation in light nonresidential activity,” Nye says. “Despite near-term interest rate uncertainty, single-family housing remains historically under built, particularly in key Martin Marietta markets with notable population growth. As such, we expect Martin Marietta will disproportionately benefit from new single-family home construction once interest rates moderate and affordability headwinds recede.”

Nye also touted Martin Marietta’s recent acquisitions of Albert Frei & Sons and Blue Water Industries operations.

“Combined, these pure-play aggregates transactions are expected to add approximately 17 million tons of annual shipments in key markets, including Denver, Knoxville, Miami and Nashville, while enhancing our ability to generate consistently higher margins,” Nye says.

Related: Martin Marietta’s Nickolas named NSSGA board chair

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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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