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Adelaide Brighton cements name change at AGM

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The nation’s biggest cement group, Adelaide Brighton, has ditched its local South Australian references and will now be known as ADBRI Limited.

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More than 99 per cent of shareholders at Adelaide Brighton’s annual general meeting today voted to approve the company new name, which executives said better reflected its size and scope.

“Adelaide Brighton, it’s got an enormously long and proud history,” chief executive Nick Miller told AAP.

The ASX-listed company traces its origins to 1882, when Welsh immigrant William Lewis opened Brighton Cement Works by Brighton Road in Adelaide as the country’s first Portland cement manufacturer.

But ABC was “not just a cement company any more”, Miller said but also a supplier of sand, limestone to both the construction industry and the mining sectors, as well as a manufacturer of bricks, blocks and retaining walls under the Adbri Masonry brand.

The company has 44 quarries, 95 cement plants and 16 cement and lime depots across Australia, with revenue of $1.52 billion in 2019.

“It’s the right time for us to step forward in terms of our evolution,” Miller said. “We are a national player with a broad offering. We’re a very diversified business.”

The name change applies to the corporate holding company and does not affect the names of its various brands.

Also on Tuesday, Miller told shareholders that ABC’s trading in March and April had been in line with expectations despite the coronavirus lockdowns.

The company has experienced strong demand from the mining sector for its cement and lime in WA, SA and the NT.

It has also seen strong demand for the masonry products it sells at Bunnings and smaller outlets, with sales up 40 per cent in April.

“The backyard action has definitely increased” as people tried to stay productive during home isolation, Miller said.

The mining sector, which ABC provides a million tonnes of lime and nearly 700,000 tonnes of concrete a year, continued to operate largely uninterrupted, he said.

Miller said ADBRI had not experienced a COVID-19 case while continuing to operate as an essential business during the pandemic.

He said the ADBRI was working with government on ideas to increase infrastructure spending as a way to boost the economy, and the pandemic showed Australia could not totally rely on imported products.

ADBRI shares finished the day up 7.5 per cent to $2.58.

Adelaide Brighton was ranked No.6 in InDaily‘s South Australian Business Index 2019, which showcases the state’s top 100 local companies.

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