Slight profit drop for James Hardie

Building products maker James Hardie’s net profit is down slightly, from $US 34.5 million to $US 30.7 in its quarterly results to March.

The company, which began in Melbourne, is based in Ireland and relies on the US market for 80 per cent of its revenue, predicts the Australian housing market will remain weak, but the US market will continue to recover.

CEO Louis Gries said that the company didn’t perform badly, but, "There were just a lot of inefficiencies," The Australian reports him as saying.

"We didn't operate to our potential last year; we came up short."

The plan for the company to increase its earnings involves more than doubling its market share in the US house siding market. Its efforts to up its share of the siding market at the expense of vinyl with its fibre cement products was mentioned in Manufacturers’ Monthly last September.