Earn­ings take a hit at Bo­ral

The Advertiser - - BUSINESS - PERRY WILLIAMS

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.

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