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James Hardie Q3 sales soar

Building products manufacturer expects slower U.S. housing growth in 2019.

BY Andy Carlo

James Hardie, the Australian building products manufacturer, reported net sales increased 18% to US$586.2 million for its third quarter 2019 and soared 23% to US$1.9 billion for the first 9 months of 2019.

The company also reported a net operating profit of US$65.9 million for the quarter – a decrease of 10%. For the 9-month period, James Hardie reported that its net operating profit increased 8% to US$226.7 million.

“Our North America Fiber Cement Segment delivered modest top line growth of 2% for the quarter and 7% for the nine months. The North America housing market demand was soft across most geographies and customer segments,” said James Hardie CEO Jack Truong, who took over as the company’s top executive on Jan. 31.

“Our exteriors business continues to improve and grow slightly above our addressable market, but below our expectations,” Truong added.

North America Fiber Cement Segment volume increased 1% for the quarter and 4% for the 9-month period.

“Our consolidated group results reflected steady financial performance in an inflationary raw materials, freight, and foreign exchange environment, and soft underlying housing market demand in our primary markets,” Truong said.

Looking ahead, James Hardie said it forecasts modest growth in the U.S. housing market to continue through the remainder of fiscal year 2019.

The single-family new construction market and repair and remodel market growth rates in fiscal year 2019 are expected to grow, albeit at a growth rate lower than that in fiscal year 2018, the company said.

Overall, James Hardie said that it expects new single-family construction starts between approximately 1.2 million and 1.3 million.

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