Australian building products maker Boral expects its US business to return to profitability in the next year as the building industry recovers.
The US housing sector has improved significantly since the global financial crisis, but there is still a long way to go, Boral chief executive Mike Kane said.
Two of Boral’s US its businesses had become profitable, and others were close to breaking even, he told ABC TV. “We believe in the next 12 months that that’ll rectify itself,” Mr Kane said.
Locally, Boral’s operations have now seen the bottom of the construction activity cycle, despite continuing weakness in Victoria and South Australia, he said.
“I do see some some green shoots and the possibilities of improvement,” Mr Kane said.
The proposed repeal of the carbon tax would be another benefit for Boral, a policy that has cost it about $40 million over the past two years, he said.
“The sooner that can be repealed the overall economy in Australia would be better off,” Mr Kane said. “We are encouraged by the sounds we are hearing out of Canberra about the changes they want to make with the carbon tax.”
Boral last week entered into a partnership with a US firm to create a $US1.6 billion ($A1.68 billion) plasterboard and ceilings joint venture, that aims to capitalise on growth in Asia and the Middle East.