Boral USA is stacked and that's a fact: It is the nation's largest manufacturer of brick and clay tile for exterior commercial and residential buildings. Via its acquisition of MonierLifetile in 2010 (a former JV with Lafarge), Boral USA is #1 in concrete roof tile in the US. MonierLifetile joins Boral USA affiliate US Tile to operate under Boral Roofing. Other affiliates include Boral Material Technologies Inc. (BMTI), one of the largest fly ash (cement substitute) suppliers in the US. Boral USA also leads the construction materials market (concrete/sand deposits and quarries) in Colorado and Oklahoma, and pilots a technology center. It is part of Australian building and construction materials titan Boral Ltd.
Boral USA continues to be hurt by the deteriorating US housing and non-residential construction markets. About two-thirds of its revenues depend on housing starts, and the remainder on commercial and infrastructure construction activity. The market downturn has negatively impacted sales of bricks, as well as its roofing and construction materials products -- revenue from each experienced year-over-year decreases of 24%, 14%, and 17%, respectively, in 2010. The company's loss in 2009 narrowed slight in 2010, dragged by weak sales volumes, fixed plant costs, and trimmed headcount.
Nevertheless, Boral USA is poised for the US economy's recovery. It anticipates its $75 million purchase of Lafarge's 50% interest in MonierLifetile to improve operating synergies (consolidated within Boral Roofing) as well as open up new sources of revenue. Both roofing and cladding businesses are shifting to lean manufacturing practices. Boral's technology center focuses on developing green, sustainable offerings. The center, for example, has launched a fly ash treatment that reduces the impact of mercury. Another green material, a composite trim is being introduced at a new $14 million composite products plant, set to start production in 2011.
In the brick business, Boral maintains a distribution network of almost 55 facilities in 11 states. Boral's offerings are equally extensive, and include not only brick but stone, Boral Pavers, a PastelCote finish, which gives a durable, weathered texture on various building materials, and related non-masonry products. – less