“Consolidated gross margin (excluding freight and delivery revenues) for the quarter was 16.7%, a 200-basis-point decline compared with the prior-year quarter. Consolidated gross margin, excluding freight and delivery revenues and our increased exposure to vertical integration – ready mixed concrete, hot mixed asphalt and related paving operations in Arkansas, Colorado and Texas – would have been 19.4%. This adjusted gross margin (excluding freight and delivery revenues) represents a 270-basis-point increase compared with the reported consolidated gross margin (excluding freight and delivery revenues). The Mideast and West Groups each leveraged volume and pricing improvements in the aggregates product line to expand their gross margins. These gains were offset by a decline in our Southeast Group profitability, which reflects the continued under absorption of fixed costs, as well as increased freight costs.
“Consolidated SG&A as a percentage of net sales was 8.3%, an improvement of 20 basis points compared with the prior-year quarter. On an absolute basis, SG&A increased $6.3 million, which was due to a $3.3 million charge for restructuring initiatives, overhead incurred at our Denver operations and costs related to an information systems upgrade expected to be completed by the fall of 2013.
LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
“Cash provided by operating activities for full year 2012 was $222.7 million compared with $259.1 million for 2011. Cash provided by operating activities for 2012 would have been $283.7 million, excluding cash outlays of $38 million for business development expenses and a net $23 million required to finance working capital for our Colorado operations. We used our significant cash flow to make timely but prudent capital investments, maintain dividend payments and reduce our outstanding debt by $12 million. During the year, we invested $151.0 million of capital into our business, including $33 million related to the new kiln.“At December 31, 2012, our ratio of consolidated debt to consolidated EBITDA, as defined, for the trailing twelve months was 3.21 times. At December 31, 2012, the maximum ratio is 3.75 times per our covenant. The maximum ratio is 3.75 times through June 30, 2013, before returning to a maximum of 3.50 times on September 30, 2013.