James Hardie today announced results for the fourth quarter of its fiscal year 2020 and the full year ended March 31, 2020:
- Group Adjusted net operating profit ("NOPAT") of US$86.6 million for the quarter and US$352.8 million for the full year, an increase of 17% for both compared to prior corresponding periods (“pcp”);
- Group Adjusted EBIT of US$121.0 million for the quarter and US$486.8 million for the full year, an increase of 21% and 20%, respectively, compared to pcp;
- Group net sales of US$673.2 million for the quarter and US$2,606.8 million for the full year, an increase of 8% and 4%, respectively, compared to pcp;
- North America Fiber Cement Segment volume increased 10% for the quarter and 8% for the full year, compared to pcp;
- North America Fiber Cement Segment Adjusted EBIT margin1 of 25.3% for the quarter and 25.9% for the full year;
- Asia Pacific Fiber Cement Segment Adjusted EBIT margin1 of 20.5% for the quarter and 22.7% for the full year; and
- Europe Building Products Segment Adjusted EBIT margin1 of 4.6% for the quarter and 8.2% for the full year.
1 Excludes asset impairment charges and costs associated with the Fermacell acquisition
James Hardie CEO, Dr. Jack Truong, said, “We delivered strong fourth quarter results globally, capping a fiscal year of outstanding performance that demonstrated our ability to consistently execute in both growing and highly volatile markets. I am particularly pleased with the outstanding North America performance, as we continued to grow above market while delivering exceptional returns. Underpinning our success in North America was 11% volume growth in the exterior business coupled with sustained volume growth of 5% in the interior business. Our Lean manufacturing initiative continued to generate improved performance across our North American manufacturing network, helping to deliver 26% Adjusted EBIT growth at a 25.3% Adjusted EBIT margin in the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, our Asia Pacific segment delivered good financial returns with revenue up 2% and Adjusted EBIT growth of 4% in local currency at an Adjusted EBIT margin of 20.5%. Our Europe Building Products segment delivered strong revenue growth of 7% in Euros in the quarter, led by fiber cement growth of 50% and fiber gypsum growth of 3%.”
He continued, “Our performance in March was exceptionally strong, despite the highly volatile market environment in which we operated. We supplied our customers seamlessly around the world, growing revenue by double digits in each region we operate in.
Our strong fourth quarter, including the exceptional March performance, led to significant improvement in our liquidity position, increasing from US$464 million at December 31, 2019 to US$510 million at March 31, 2020 and US$578 million at April 30, 2020, while reducing our leverage ratio to 1.9x at March 31, 2020 from 2.1x at December 31, 2019.”
Dr. Truong added, “The fourth quarter marks the fourth consecutive quarter of strong financial results, which yielded a full year Adjusted NOPAT of US$352.8 million, an improvement of 17% compared to the prior year.
The full year result was driven by our strong North America performance, delivering 7+% growth above market and US$29 million in Lean cost savings in fiscal year 2020. Full year EBIT margin in North America was 25.9%.”
He concluded, “We enter fiscal year 2021 with significant momentum in both our commercial and Lean initiatives, albeit in a rapidly evolving and highly volatile market and economy. Our global team remains focused
on executing our strategic plan to deliver growth above market with strong returns. I would like to thank all of our James Hardie team members around the world for an outstanding year of financial performance and an
unwavering commitment to zero harm.”
Given the highly volatile and uncertain circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on demand in the countries in which James Hardie operates, the Company is unable to provide annual guidance at this time. However, for the first quarter of fiscal year 2021, we expect our North America segment Adjusted EBIT margin to be between 22% and 27%. Further, we expect our liquidity to be greater than US$600 million and our leverage ratio to remain below 2.0x at the end of the first quarter.
James Hardie’s guidance is based on current estimates and assumptions and is subject to a number of known and unknown uncertainties and risks, including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic and set forth below in "Forward-Looking Statements” in the full media release pdf below.
Readers are referred to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements and Management’s Analysis of Results for the fourth quarter and full year ended March 31, 2020 for additional information regarding the Company’s results, including information regarding income taxes, the asbestos liability and contingent liabilities. Full media release pdf available here.