James Hardie Industries plc (NYSE:JHX) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Nov 06, 2019 • 05:00 pm ET


James Hardie Industries plc (NYSE:JHX) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Jack Truong

Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us for the Q2 Fiscal Year 2020 Earnings Conference Call. I will start with key business and operational highlights on our second quarter performance; Jason Miele, our Head of Investor Relations, will then cover the financial details for the quarter. Afterwards I will come back to update you on where we are relative to the execution of our three-year global strategic plan.

As our Interim CFO, Anne Lloyd, has only been in role for about eight weeks, I have asked Jason to present with me today based on his extensive experience in Finance and Investor Relations at James Hardie. Regarding the CFO position, I will make a few comments now and will not be taking questions on this topic during Q&A. As you are aware, Anne Lloyd is currently functioning as our Interim CFO, and she will continue in role until we find a permanent CFO. She had served previously as a CFO of Martin Marietta. She also serves currently as a member of James Hardie Board of Directors. Anne has done an excellent job running and jumping right in and is adding value to our executive team as well as to the global finance organization. I'm pleased to how this transition is progressing, and we're actively recruiting, and I would anticipate we'll hire a permanent CFO in early next year.

Now let's talk about our results. The global James Hardie team executed well and delivered a very strong operational performance this past quarter. We delivered positive growth in both net sales and EBIT in all three regions that we operate in: North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe. I would like to put our second quarter results in the context of our three-year global strategic plan. We are an organic growth company. We've built to drive growth above market, which is PDG, in all regions of the world that we operate in and with strong returns.

In North America this means that we are on a commercial transformation journey to be a more customer-focused company by continuing to invest significantly in demand creation with our end users, the builders, the installers, the R&R contractors, while building a more robust account management capability to serve our customers much better, the dealers, the lumber yards, the distributors, and the retailers. This is aimed at driving a sustainable growth above market of PDG in the 6% range for the long-term sustainably [Phonetic]. We also drive Lean manufacturing across all of our plants in North America to take advantage of our scale, to reduce variability, and to improve productivity. We target to generate $100 million in cumulative savings over the three years due to Lean. In Asia Pacific, our goal is to make a good business better and hence to continue to deliver growth of our market even in a contracting market that we currently have in Australia and strong returns. In Europe, it's all about accelerating fiber cement growth based on a growing fiber gypsum business