Building products maker Boral will shed 700 jobs as part of a major restructure aimed at helping it weather the effects of Australia's gloomy housing market.

The cuts are the result of a 100-day review by new chief executive Michael Kane, who said most of the job losses would be among management ranks and back office staff.

"The review is purposely not focused on sales functions or operational roles and therefore will have no impact on the level or type of services provided to customers," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"The review has identified managerial and functional support areas where inefficiencies and duplication have crept in over time."

Several senior executives - cement business boss Mike Beardsell and building products managing director Bryan Tisher - are to lose their jobs as part of the restructure.

Of the 700 redundancies, 200 have already occurred and the rest would be completed by March.

The latest cuts take the total number of job losses at Boral to 1000 for the 2012/13 financial year.

The company, whose products include roof tiles, bricks and doors, had a total global workforce of 14,740 as of last June.

Boral expects while the redundancies will cost $60 million this financial year, they will lead to annual savings of $90 million.

Boral has been under financial pressure due to a prolonged slump in housing construction and delays to major construction projects.

Its earnings slumped 29 per cent last financial year.

Mr Kane said while Boral's commercial infrastructure business had muted the effects of the housing market decline he had not seen any recent signs of a recovery.

"At this point I haven't seen any dramatic changes in the last three months that would suggest to me that there's any major changes a foot in the underlying construction market," he said.

Investors reacted positively to news of the restructure, sending Boral shares 44 cents, or 10.1 per cent, higher to $4.80 - a 20-month peak.

CommSec analyst Julianna Roadley said while Boral had performed reasonably well during challenging conditions, it needed to restructure to take advantage of turnarounds in the Australian and US housing markets when they occur.

"Over the last five years they've been able to hold up okay in a struggling market, so I suppose they're preparing themselves for what people are thinking is going to be a little bit of a build up in that area," she said.

"It's important to have a clear balance sheet so if you find that there are attractive new areas that you want to move into or if you're wanting cash to build your business so you can take advantage of change, you do have that wiggle room."

Most of the jobs being axed are in NSW, which will bear the brunt of 40 per cent of the total losses.

Victoria and Queensland would each account for about 20 per cent of the redundancies, while 12 per cent will come from South Australia, eight per cent from Western Australia and the rest from Tasmania.

Mr Kane was appointed chief executive last September after his predecessor Mark Selway was dumped four months earlier when he lost support of the board.

 

Advertisement