Rinker looks for acquisitions after handout, Australia

Rinker looks for acquisitions after handout, Australia
Published: 11 May 2006

Australia’s biggest building materials maker Rinker Group Ltd is fishing for acquisitions as spending on commercial building and infrastructure in the fastest-growing American states keeps a housing slowdown at bay. 
The concrete, asphalt and cement maker today signalled another strong year of revenue and profit growth as it handed about US$614m ($A794.46m) back to shareholders. 
The outlook came despite a slowing housing market in the United States, the source of 80 per cent of Rinker’s earnings, where the company is also facing uncertainty over pending legal action in its biggest market, Florida. 
“It is still very early in our current financial year, but in the US we continue to expect a slowdown in housing to be offset by improving activity in the non-residential sector," Rinker chief executive David Clarke said. 
"We are seeing recovery in retail, tourism and education construction - and higher infrastructure lettings across the country." 
As foreshadowed last month, Rinker today locked in a 50 per cent increase in annual net profit to $US740m ($A957.49m), driven by strong growth in Florida, Arizona and Nevada.