US builder sticks with local view

Floor-to-ceiling building adhesives business HB Fuller believes the cyclical downturn in the Australian residential construction sector could be bottoming out, raising hopes the flat housing market could soon improve.

Floor-to-ceiling building adhesives business HB Fuller believes the cyclical downturn in the Australian residential construction sector could be bottoming out, raising hopes the flat housing market could soon improve.

Many residential and commercial construction manufacturers, however, believe the market will remain subdued for some time, failing to return to spending levels seen before the global financial crisis stripped the sector of growth.

HB Fuller chief executive and president James Owens said last week during an earnings update that Australia was still a weak link in the global company's operations but there were signs of a turnaround. "Year-over-year revenue was only slightly negative in the quarter, indicating that the negative trend in this region is bottoming out," he said.

HB Fuller is a chemicals group that specialises in formulating high-performance industrial adhesive products, sealant products, paints and other specialty materials used in construction.

Last month US paints group Valspar said the company's Australian business, which is built on its popular Wattyl brand, had a 15 per cent decline in volumes for the first quarter, as weakness in the Australian housing market dragged down its performance.

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