Australia: Boral swings to profit

Australia: Boral swings to profit
11 February 2015

Boral Ltd today reported a 23 per cent increase in profit after tax (before significant items) to $112m in the six months to the end of December 2014. After significant items, net profit was $104.5m, compared to a loss of $26.3m in the first half of the 2014 financial year.

But turnover for the six months to the end of December declined by 20.5 per cent to AUD22285m (€1561m), largely reflecting the transfer of the plasterboard business to joint venture status.  EBITDA was off by 5.5 per cent to AUD290m (€198m) while the trading profit was just 0.6 per cent lower at AUD167m (€114m). After a net interest charge 34 per cent lower at AUD31m (€21m) the pre-tax profit improved by 13.2 per cent to AUD137m (€94m).

Net debt at the end of December of Aus$887m (€606m) to give a gearing level of 25 per cent, compared with 41 per cent a year earlier. Capital expenditure in the period was 17.5 per cent lower at AUD94m (€60m).

Australian cement sales decline
The cement, lime, aggregates and concrete operations generated a turnover 4.1 per cent lower at AUD1626m (€1111m), while the EBITDA was 1.7 per cent higher at AUD$241m (€165m). Cement represented a turnover some six per cent lower at AUD151m (€103m) while the trading profit was only marginally lower at AUD56m (€38m). Turnover in concrete improved by 4.7 per cent to AUD732m (€500m), in aggregates it declined by 15.5 per cent to AUD234m and it declined by 12.7 per cent in asphalt to AUD356m (€243m).

Boral Building products generated a turnover six per cent ahead at AUD263m (€180m), with concrete and clay sales being some nine per cent higher at AUD187m while timber sales were stable at AUD76m. The EBITDA increased by some 48 per cent to AUD25m. Brick volumes improved by six per cent, with New South Wales and Queensland being notably strong, while the roofing volume was modestly ahead.

The gypsum division, now an associate, improved turnover by another 18.8 per cent to AUD638m(€436m) and the EBITDA rose by 26.0 per cent to AUD97m. The Asian business, boosted turnover by some 19 per cent to AUD421m (€288m) with Korea and Thailand being the largest contributors and showing volume growth of 10 per cent and eight per cent respectively Australia showed volume growth of 10 per cent and prices improved by three per cent.

Boral USA improved turnover by 18 per cent to AUD396m (€270m) and the loss at the EBITDA level was eliminated and a AUD12m profit was achieved. Brick volumes increased by 11 per cent and prices were two per cent higher. Roofing turnover increased by 13 per cent to US$78m and prices and volumes improved by five and seven per cent respectively.

Published under Cement News

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