Vulcan Materials Caps Year With Powerful Performance

Vulcan Materials Co. announced results for the quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2023, reporting total revenues of $1.83 billion in the fourth quarter versus $1.73 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022; and $7.78 billion for full-year 2023 versus $7.32 billion for full-year 2022.

For its Aggregates segment, fourth-quarter gross profit increased 30% to $424 million ($7.67 per ton), and gross profit margin expanded 400 basis points. Cash gross profit improved to $9.92 per ton resulting from continued pricing momentum, solid execution and moderating inflationary pressures. Improvements in unit profitability were widespread across the company’s footprint and marked the seventh consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth.

As compared to the prior year, fourth-quarter aggregates shipments increased 2%. Shipments in the prior year were disrupted by abnormally wet and cold weather across the majority of the company’s footprint. Certain markets in the Southeast continued to benefit from industrial-related nonresidential project activity. 

The pricing environment remained positive with all markets realizing year-over-year improvement in the fourth quarter. Freight-adjusted selling prices increased 14% versus the prior year. Freight-adjusted unit cash cost of sales increased 7%, marking the third consecutive quarter of unit cost deceleration on a trailing-12 months basis. Unit cost benefited from lower diesel prices and moderating inflationary pressures on certain parts and supplies.

NOTD TomHill 200
Tom Hill

Fourth-quarter Asphalt segment gross profit was $36 million, an increase of $19 million over the prior year, and gross profit margin expanded 550 basis points to 13%. Shipments increased 20%, and price improved 2%. Cash gross profit was $45 million in the fourth quarter, an increase of 73% versus the prior year. 

Fourth-quarter Concrete segment gross profit was $11 million versus $5 million in the prior year. Cash gross profit was $24 million, and unit cash gross profit improved 53% despite lower volumes. Both the current and prior year included results from now divested concrete assets. Calcium segment gross profit was $0.6 million compared to $1.1 million in the prior year’s fourth quarter.

Tom Hill, Vulcan Materials’ chairman and chief executive officer, said, “2023 was an exceptional year for Vulcan Materials. We generated over $2 billion in Adjusted EBITDA, a 24% increase over the prior year, expanded EBITDA margin by 360 basis points and generated $1.5 billion of operating cash flow that can be deployed to grow our business. Our industry leading aggregates cash gross profit per ton increased each quarter on a year-over-year basis and was $9.46 per ton for the full year, a 21% improvement over the prior year. Six consecutive years of unit profitability improvement during a continuously shifting macro backdrop demonstrates the durability of our uniquely positioned aggregates-led business. We carry momentum into 2024, and our focus is the same – compounding unit margins through all parts of the cycle and creating value for our shareholders through improving returns on capital.”

In 2023, the company deployed $204 million of capital for opportunistic purchases of strategic reserves in California, North Carolina and Texas in the second half of the year. Additionally, Vulcan completed the disposition of its concrete operations in Texas during the fourth quarter. The sale generated cash proceeds of $485 million that is available to redeploy into its aggregates-led franchise.  During the quarter, the company also sold real estate in Northern Virginia for cash proceeds of $66 million.

Related posts