In a report released on Thursday, building products group James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX) reported a 12 per cent rise in full year profits for the year ending on 31 March 2015. Group adjusted net operating profit came in at US$57.3m for the quarter and US$221.4m for the full year, representing a 26 per cent quarterly increase and a 12 per cent increase over the full year. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) came in at US$304m for the full year, a 20 per cent increase compared to the previous corresponding period.
James Hardie also posted group net sales of US$1,656.9m for the full year, an increase of 11 per cent. Capital expenditures for the year came in at US$276.2m. In the report, the company noted that its US and European businesses delivered significant earnings and growth in the last quarter of 2014. “This performance was driven by strong primary demand growth and the continued focus across our plants on cost management and operational excellence,” said Chief Executive Officer Louis Gries. “…we continue to expect EBIT of our US and European segment to grow and EBIT margins to stay in our target range as the US housing market recovers and we increase market penetration.”
Although the company benefitted more from sales in the US and Europe, it expects sales in Australia to grow and be in line with expected growth in new detached dwellings and an improving repair and remodel market. Operations in both New Zealand and the Philippines are expected to grow as well. The company will be paying a special dividend of US$0.22 per share and a FY2015 second half ordinary dividend of US$0.27 per security. Shares of James Hardie are up $1.57, or 10.32 per cent, at $16.79 per share around 1:12pm on Thursday. JHX has advanced 22.43 per cent in the last 12 months and 26.97 per cent so far this year.