Boral announces loss for half-year, raises possibility of further staff cuts

Boral CEO Mike Kane has announced a net loss for the first half of the financial year and said that a slow housing market continued to be a concern.

Boral’s posted a December half loss of $25.3 million, compared to a $152.7 million profit for the corresponding period. Impairment and restructuring costs affected the result, and Kane did not rule out further cuts to his workforce.

"We've got some trimming to do around the edges in several divisions and we've identified that in the last month, and all that will happen between now and the end of the financial year," he told The Australian.

Boral announced in January that 700 jobs would be shed, with a quarter of these head office workers.

“Our internal focus was getting in the way,” said Kane yesterday, stating that this was getting in the way of serving Boral’s customers.

''Right now we're moulting, and it’s not pretty,'' he said.

The CEO said that he expected the housing market would improve, but not “quickly or uniformly.”

An unnamed analyst said Kane’s directness in addressing the problems was a positive.

“CEOs who tell it how it is are always welcomed by investors,” he told Fairfax Media.

“He's put his reputation on the line in committing to getting costs out of the business.”