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Construction slowdown hits Boral earnings

Michael Mehr
Building materials maker Boral says first-quarter earnings have dipped across its three divisions

Boral says first-quarter earnings have dipped across all three of the building materials maker's divisions, reaffirming guidance for a full-year profit drop of between five and 15 per cent.

"In Boral Australia we saw lower earnings in the first quarter of trading, with the softer housing market in Australia and delays in infrastructure projects underpinning 8.0 per cent lower concrete volume relative to last year, and broadly flat asphalt volumes," chief executive Mike Kane said at Boral's annual general meeting on Wednesday.

The company said Boral North America earnings declined because US "volumes have not been growing at the rate we had expected" and USG Boral, its plasterboard joint venture, was hampered by slowing residential construction in Australia and South Korea.

Mr Kane said although the company expected first-half earnings to be about five per cent lower than the previous year, he was confident of "a better outcome in the second half".

Boral shares were down 2.85 per cent to $4.945 by 1120 AEDT on Wednesday.

The result comes after rival CSR's also reported soft conditions, with earnings at the company's core building products unit slipping 18 per cent to $95.9 million in the six months to September 30.