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Boral turns new leaf, recharges for 2022 and beyond

Boral

 

Boral has set itself for a promising future, according to its 2021 annual and sustainability reports, after offloading its North American and Australian building products businesses, setting sustainability goals and targets, and managing a takeover offer from Seven Group Holdings.

The Boral of 2021 is a significantly different company to the building products and construction materials business of years gone by, epitomised by the “discontinued operations” column in its annual report.

Under this category lies its North American fly ash, roofing, stone, windows and light building products businesses, Australian timber, masonry and roofing businesses and 50 per cent stake in USG Boral, which held its plasterboard operations across Asia Pacific. Only its fly ash business remains to be sold off.

Boral CEO and managing director Zlatko Todorcevski, who commenced his role on 1 July, 2020, said the company’s new strategy was panning out nicely.

“I’m particularly pleased with the development of, and progress against, the new Boral strategy,” Todorcevski said.

“Our strategy is defined under four pillars – focus, position, redefine and extend.”

Boral Chairman Ryan Stokes commented in Boral’s annual reports that Seven Group Holdings’ desire to increase its investment in Boral reflects its confidence in the opportunity within Boral, and it is supportive of Boral’s management and strategy. It also expects the company’s financial performance to continue to improve.

“As we refocus on our core Australian construction materials business, we have also redefined Boral’s purpose – creating a world future generations will be proud of,” he said.

The third pillar of the company’s refreshed strategy aims to “redefine” Boral through decarbonisation and adjacent growth to establish a clearer, competitive advantage.

Boral has a set target to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 46 per cent by 2030 from a 2019 baseline, in line with its aim to achieve carbon neutrality by no later than 2050.

Todorcevski said this mindset aims to deliver future growth for the company while also being the right thing to do. A key lever of its decarbonisation plans is to accelerate the rollout of its proprietary lower carbon concrete products.

Boral will remain in good hands as it pivots all of its focus to its Australian construction materials business which includes concrete, asphalt, quarries and cement operations.

In FY2021, concrete and placing was Boral’s leading breadwinner with $1.2 billion in revenue, with asphalt the next largest, contributing just shy of $700 million in revenue.

Non-executive appointments

Consistent with its previously announced board renewal plan, Boral has appointed two new additions to its board as non-executive directors – Mark Johnson and Jacqueline Chow.

Stokes explained the breadth of financial experience brought to the company by Johnson.

“Mark brings extensive finance, accounting and risk management capability from his 30-year career in audit and accounting, and substantial board experience across multiple sectors,” Stokes said.

“Mark was a senior partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for more than 20 years, during which he held senior leadership roles, including as chief executive officer for PwC Australia.”

Chow has had extensive experience across a range of sectors in executive and non-executive roles, Stokes said.

“Jacqueline brings vast skills and knowledge across strategy, transformation, innovation, technology and marketing, gained from more than 20 years’ experience across senior executive and non-executive positions,” Stokes said.

“Her corporate executive experience in global blue-chip companies spans general management, strategy, marketing and technology across a range of sectors, including industrial, retail, financial services and telecommunications.”

Boral’s annual and sustainbility reports can be viewed at the Boral website.

More reading

Boral’s lockdown results bolster shareholder confidence

Boral to repay shareholders for weathering the storm

Final sale relieves Boral of building products businesses

Boral sets ambitious 2030 targets, commits to net zero

Lockdown losses continue to bite, says Boral

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