Boral’s first half profit falls, Australia

Boral’s first half profit falls, Australia
Published: 29 February 2012

Tagged Under: USA Australia Boral Indonesia 

Australian building materials producer Boral’s turnover in the six months to the end of December improved by 1.9% to AUD$2,433m (€1,976m) while the EBITDA declined by 11.9% to AUD$237m (€192m) and the trading profit falling by 26.9% to AUD$109m (€86m). The net interest charge is now on the way up again and it rose by 9.7% to AUD$34m (€27m) and the pre-tax profit fell by 35.9% to AUD$75m (€61m). Net debt at the end of December rose by almost 2½ times to AUD$1,544m (€1,254m) to give a gearing level of 46%. Capital expenditure was increased by 38.3% to AUD$177m (€144m) while AUD$670m (€544m) was spent on acquisitions.

The turnover of Boral Cement, which now just covers cement, fly ash and lime, increased by 2.6% to AUD$157m (€128m) and the EBITDA declined by 7.1% to AUD$65m (€53m). The Indonesian and Thai aggregates and concrete activities have been de-consolidated in view of their expected disposal, but did achieve a 13% increase in turnover to AUD$134m (€109m). The sale of the Indonesian business for US$135m has recently been agreed. The lower contribution from the cement and lime operations reflect, in part, timing of annual shutdowns at Blue Circle Southern Cement and the closure of the Galong lime kiln. The lime kiln closure led to an AUD$43m (€35m) impairment charge related to the closure of steel-making capacity at a client.

The Australian aggregates, concrete and asphalt operations increased turnover by 9.9% to AUD$1,211m (€984m) but the EBITDA only edged up by 0.7% to AUD$138m (€112m). Higher prices were achieved for aggregates, concrete and lime sales from early April and higher volumes on the east coast, more than offsetting the drop in demand in South Australia and Western Australia. In building products, turnover declined by 9.9% to AUD$562m (€456m) and the EBITDA fell by 24.4% to AUD$62m (€50m). With the exception of Victoria, Australian demand for building products has been pretty weak. The Asian plasterboard operations became wholly-owned in December and are now fully consolidated.

The United States turnover improved by 15.1% to AUD$244m (€198m) but the loss at the EBITDA level also increased by about 15% to AUD$31m (€25m). Turnover from cladding, where bricks have been the largest contributor, rose by 48% to AUD$113m, helped by an increased sphere of consolidation, while the revenue from roofing was 8% higher at AUD$49m. The aggregates and ready-mixed concrete activities in Colorado and Oklahoma and the fl-ash operations contributed the remaining AUD$82m of sales, which represented an 8% reduction.