Leicestershire brickmaker set to build on profits hike

Leicestershire-based brickmaker Ibstock has posted rises in profit and turnover for the six months to 30 June.

On the back of a turnover of £228.3m over the period, the firm made a profit of £38.9m – a rise of 2.7% on the same period in 2016.

Ibstock is currrently building a 100 million capacity brick plant in Leicestershire which will be fired up in Q4 2017 and will expand the Group’s UK brick capacity by around 13% when in full production.

Wayne Sheppard, chief executive officer, said: “The Group has delivered a robust first half performance. UK brick volumes were well ahead, driven by good activity levels in the UK new build housing sector and our concrete businesses also enjoyed solid growth.

“Against this backdrop of continued robust demand we are investing in the UK clay business to increase capacity. Our new brick factory in Leicestershire will begin commissioning in the final quarter of this year, with production to build progressively across 2018. When operating at its full capacity of 100m bricks per annum it will expand UK domestic brick production by 5%, adding a much needed new source of supply. A second project – to increase capacity at our blue brick plant at Cannock – is also on track.

“Looking ahead, the longer term fundamentals underpinning the new-build housing market in the UK – government support, good mortgage availability and an undersupply of new homes – remain in place, although we continue to be alert to any changes in customer confidence stemming from political uncertainty after the recent General Election result and the on-going Brexit negotiations.

“The Group remains strongly cash generative, we are investing for further growth, and our expectations for another year of progress are maintained.”