SYDNEY Jan 16 Australian building materials
maker Boral Ltd said on Wednesday it will cut 700 jobs
across the country, aiming to reduce costs in a weak housing
Boral shares jumped 7 percent to an 18-month high on news of
the cuts, which the company said would save A$90 million a year,
with A$37 million savings expected in full year 2013.
"The restructure ... will transform the group into an
organization that is more responsive to the realities of a
cyclical marketplace," Boral's managing director Mike Kane said
in a statement, adding that conditions had been challenging for
Boral, which had 14,740 employees in June 2012, said total
employee numbers would fall by about 1,000 in 2013 as a result
of the restructure and other recent initiatives. The cuts would
affect functional, operational support and managerial positions.
On Monday, Australia's largest steelmaker Bluescope Steel
Ltd said it would cut 170 jobs at its Western Port
plant in Victoria state over the following months.
Australia's unemployment rate stands at 5.2 percent
currently, but analysts expect the figure will rise to 5.75
percent by the end of 2013 without further monetary
A survey by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
showed job advertisements in newspapers and on the internet fell
again in December, a tenth straight month of decline that
pointed to softer demand for labor.
Australia's official job figures, due on Thursday, are
expected to show employment was flat in December, nudging the
jobless rate up to 5.4 percent.
Boral shares last traded up 6.8 percent at A$4.65.
(Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Richard Pullin)