7 Dec 2012

90 cement jobs to be cut by Boral

8:59 am on 7 December 2012

Cement maker Boral is scaling back production at a plant in Victoria in favour of imports, resulting in the loss of 90 jobs.

AAP reports Boral intends to import clinker, due to the high Australian dollar and low shipping costs, and use the Waurn Ponds cement plant near Geelong as a cement milling facility.

Boral said talks will be held with employees over coming weeks to explore all options to avoid or mitigate job losses, and to organise redundancies or redeployment within the company.

"Across all of our businesses we need to ensure that we are aligning our domestic production with demand levels, and that our cost structures are globally competitive and can be sustained through the cycle," said chief executive Mike Kane said in a statement.

The changes are part of a company-wide review to identify potential cost reductions and the outcome will be revealed in February, Mr Kane said.

AAP reports Morningstar analyst Nathan Zaia said the company's decision to import rather than make clinker was inevitable.

"Boral has been somewhat slower than peers, particularly Adelaide Brighton when it comes to substituting locally produced clinker with cheaper imports from Asia, a trend we expect to continue," he said in a note to investors.

Boral's shares were half a cent higher at $4.055 at 11.24am (AEDT) on Thursday.