Adelaide Brighton Ltd managing director Mr Mark Chellew told the annual meeting today that 2004 demand had begun slightly ahead of plan. "We have good reason to be satisfied with the company’s achievements in 2003 and will continue to optimise performance for the current year," he said.
"Significantly, we now have an important presence in the major cement and related downstream markets in Australia, and will fully explore the synergies and opportunities that this scale can provide. Our position in our lime markets has continued to show further growth and future demand will be supported by our increased manufacturing expertise." He also said the decline in housing approvals had not yet flowed through into the supply chain, due to both work in progress and the order backlog.
"Cement pricing has remained stable in 2004 and is arguably below import parity pricing in some regions. We are predicting a manageable softening in demand in the second half of this year as stronger cement and concrete demand from the non-residential and engineering sectors will largely offset a weakening in the residential sector."