Resources slide to benefit building sector

New Zealand building materials manufacturer and distributor, Fletcher Building’s boss Jonathan Ling, says that a slowdown in the resources sector can be beneficial for the local materials manufacturing, with the local industry's products likely to become a more practical alternative to imports should the Australian dollar fall as a result.

It comes as the company posted a 35% fall in net profit to $NZ185 million ($144m) for the 2012 financial year, according to The Australian.

The sales fell due to low levels of new homes built in Australia and New Zealand, and its steel manufacturing division facing import competition reporting an earnings fall of 42% down to $NZ48m.

Ling explained that "for a lot of those products, if the currency comes back, the importation of these products is not economically feasible".

He went on to say "steel at 90c is competitive and viable, but at $1.05 it's not, so it depends on your view on the currency".

Ling has run Fletcher Building for six years and brought the global company’s business to annual revenue of $7.4 billon. He departs on September 30, handing over to divisional boss Mark Adamson