SYDNEY, AAP – Boral has had a substantial hit to earnings from coronavirus restrictions early in the financial year, after a return to full-year profit.
Chief executive Zlatko Todorcevski on Tuesday cited the temporary suspension of building activity in Sydney and South Australia in July and continuing virus measures which were slowing workers.
“At this stage, the impact in the first quarter may be in the order of $50 million,” he said.
Mr Todorcevski said market conditions would be mixed for the financial year.
He said the building of infrastructure and non-residential structures was expected to remain largely steady.
These sorts of projects, such as major roads, rail lines and airports, is the concrete and cement supplier’s main business.
Residential building is not expected to be as buoyant this financial year.
Mr Todorcevski did not see the market for building units improving until immigration returns.
The company revealed a full-year net profit after tax of $640 million. This improved on a loss of $1.14 billion the previous financial year.
Profit was helped by a post-tax gain of $389 million from the sale of the Midland Brick business in Western Australia, and the 50 per cent stake in USG Boral.
Shareholders will not receive a final dividend.
However, a significant surplus is due from the sale of Meridian Brick and the building products business in North America, as well as the Australian Timber business.
The money from the may be given to shareholders, depending on the share price and the availability of franking credits.
Mr Todorcevski wants to focus efforts on Australian building materials.
He said the company was in the final stages of selling its North American Fly Ash business.
Boral named building infrastructure for the Olympic Games in Brisbane in 2032 among future opportunities.
Shares on the ASX were down 5.4 per cent to $6.48 at 1413 AEST on Tuesday.