Earnings take a hit at Boral
BUILDING materials supplier Boral has seen earnings margins fall amid the COVID-19 crisis, boosted its debt facilities and reshuffled management with the exit of its North American boss David Mariner.
Earnings margins for the period January through to April tracked 3-5 per cent lower than the first half of 2020 as a combination of the virus crisis and weakness in Australian residential construction eroded revenues.
Boral has yet to find a replacement for outgoing chief executive, Mike Kane, pictured, with a recruitment process continuing ahead of his planned departure after its annual results in August. Mr Kane has faced a tough few months following a series of profit downgrades and the revelation in December of financial irregularities at its North American windows unit.
Boral said yesterday its Australian division was the worst hit, with concrete volumes down 16 per cent and revenue falling 6 per cent on the prior corresponding period due to January’s bushfires, February’s extreme weather and COVID restrictions which are yet to “fully materialise”.
North American revenues dropped 5 per cent for the four months to April with stone production volumes off 29 per cent and roofing down 14 per cent. Fly ash volumes have declined 8 per cent so far in the second half after 5 per cent growth in the first six months of the financial year.
The USG Boral venture has seen revenue tumble 20 per cent to April with plasterboard sales down 17 per cent in Asia and off 4 per cent in Australia.
Boral in April canned its original plasterboard venture with Germany’s Knauf and slashed up to 20 per cent of planned spending this year as construction demand tanks due to the pandemic.