Holcim Australia to make cutbacks

Holcim Australia to make cutbacks
Published: 30 October 2012


Holcim Australia is expected to lay off 150 staff and mothball up to 30 plants as it adjusts to challenging market conditions. 

According to reports by the Financial Review of Australia, the Swiss cement producer expects to mothball or close about 10 per cent of its sites in Australia when it completes an organizational review this week.

Holcim Australia chief executive Mark Campbell said the review had taken softer market conditions, including a recent slowdown in the mining sector, into consideration.

"We are exposed to both mining and non-mining sectors across Australia, so have been able to ride the two-speed economy better than some," he said. "But with softer activity and outlook in some of our key markets, we must also adjust our business to suit."

"In addition to the organisational changes, we have decided to mothball and close some sites, redeploy our people and reduce positions in line with market demands," he added.

Holcim is understood to be looking at closing up to 30 sites, most of them concrete plants, which will affect about 150 jobs directly.

The Australian building sector faces its toughest year in decades, with hundreds of contractors struggling to survive as weak residential housing and stiff competition force builders to price jobs below cost to win business.

Building materials firm Boral said in August it was cutting its workforce by 800, plus another 150 contractors.

Fletcher Building has also reduced its workforce in recent years. In the latest cull, it cut 285 jobs at its Laminex division in August.