SHARES in building products maker Boral have hit an 18-month high after the company announced 700 job cuts.
The job cuts are part of a company-wide restructure.
Boral will make 700 redundancies from all levels of its business - from executive level down to its manufacturing businesses - a move it expects to save $90 million a year.
Chief executive Mike Kane said on Wednesday it was time "to make some tough decisions" to increase the company's competitiveness in challenging times.
"This is a great company, with a great history and great potential," he said in a statement.
"However, over time, it has become burdened with excessive overhead costs.
"While this may be less obvious during the good times, it becomes critically exposed when times are tough."
Boral shares were up 22 cents, or 5.05 per cent, at $4.58 at 10.13am AEDT, their highest level since June 2011.
The Australian job cuts equate to just over eight per cent of Boral's local workforce.
Of the 700 redundancies, 200 have already occurred, and the remainder are expected to be completed by March.
Other recently announced moves to outsource production take Boral's total job cuts in the 2012-13 financial year to 1000.
Boral says it expects redundancies to cost it $60 million in the 2012-13 financial year.
The company makes building products for homes such as bricks, roof tiles and doors, as well as materials for larger construction projects, such as concrete and stone.
It has been under financial pressure due to a prolonged slump in housing construction and delays to major construction projects.
Boral's earnings in its Australian operations in the 2011-12 financial year were down 29 per cent from the previous year.
The restructure comes after Mr Kane's 100-day review of Boral, which he began soon after his appointment in September 2012.
It also includes the removal of several senior executives, including the managing director of its cement business Mike Beardsell and building products managing director Bryan Tisher.