Leaders of building products group CSR (ASX: CSR) have marked the completion of a new $75 million factory at the company’s annual general meeting.
The company recently completed its new Somersby plant in New South Wales to manufacture Hebel autoclaved aerated concrete blocks and panels.
Chairman John Gillam told the AGM the new plant was the company’s biggest recent investment in building products manufacturing.
Gillam said: “Hebel has seen significant growth across all key residential and commercial construction sectors as the only manufacturer of AAC panels in Australia and New Zealand.
“This plant enables us to develop new products as well as achieve significant efficiency gains and substantial benefits on increased production volumes.”
The plant features advanced automation, zero water waste and dust capture recycled back into the production process.
While the construction market is weak CSR’s recent investments and new product launches such as Hebel exterior cladding, Bradford polyester insulation and AFS permanent formwork have buoyed the company.
Earnings this year are down only four per cent on last year Gillam said.
Managing director Rob Sindel told the AGM building products now represented 78 per cent of total earnings, up from 52 per cent five years ago.
Sindel said: “Pleasingly our intention to diversify building products earnings has seen the most significant growth in revenue and profit come from our building products businesses.”
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