Fourth-quarter operating profits at Eagle Materials’ Gypsum Wallboard and Paperboard division recovered from a loss of $420,000 a year ago to post a gain of $15.1 million, of which $10.3 million is attributed to wallboard and $4.7 million to paperboard, the company announced today. Segment revenues for the period grew 23% to hit $79.8 million, with wallboard counting for $61.2 million of segment revenues and paperboard for $18.6 million. The company credits higher net wallboard sales prices and increased paperboard sales volumes offset by lower wallboard sales volumes for the increased operating profits.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, wallboard and paperboard segment opearting profits at the Dallas-based manufacturer of gypsum wallboard, paperboard and concrete jumped 74% on segment revenues of $295.9 million, an increase of 8% for the same period.

Gypsum wallboard sales volumes totaled 397 million square feet during the fourth quarter, down 7% from the year-ago period. Paperboard sales volumes for the quarter grew 17% from a year ago to 56,000 tons.

The average net sales price for gypsum wallboard per million square foot was $98.79 for the year, up from $91.79 in 2011, and was $118.86 for the quarter, up from $85.68 for the year-ago period. Average net paperboard sales prices grew to $515.97 per ton during 2012 from $483.03 in 2011, and saw a fourth-quarter average of $505.93, up from $501 a year ago.

Overall, the company grew its bottom line by 26% to $18.7 million for the year on a 7% sales increase to $495 million. In the fourth quarter the company reversed a $10.8 million net earnings loss to record a gain of $9 million.

Fourth-quarter profits at Eagle Materials jumped 22% from a year ago to $116.8 million on net sales of $495 million, representing 7% growth for the same period, the company announced today.