Demand for bricks and plasterboard to feed the housing boom helped building products group CSR Limited to an underlying net profit of $103.1 million, a 12% increase, for the half year to September.
After significant items, net profit after tax was up 48% to $114.5 million.
The company declared an unfranked interim dividend of 13 cents a share, an increase of 13%.
“The overall strength in the residential construction market across the east coast has supported the growth in building products’ earnings and margins,” says managing director Rob Sindel.
“While detached housing construction remains robust, high-rise apartment approvals are showing signs of slowing across Australia.”
The lift in profit was driven by earnings from building products, including bricks and gyprock, with a record half year EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) of $114.6 million, up 29%.
The company expects profit for the full 2017 financial year to be at the top end of the analysts’ forecasts of between $154 million and $184 million.