Profit warning at brickmaker as it reveals plans to mothball site

Forterra, the Northants brickmaker, is set to mothball its plant in Claughton, Lancashire and cut production in its Aircrete business following a slump in demand in July and August.

The firm issued a profit warning this morning (October 11) as it said it would “align production levels with market demand”.

In a statement, the firm said: “The market weakness seen in recent months, coupled with the lead time associated with efficiently reducing production, will lead to our inventory build in 2023 being higher than previously anticipated.”

However, Forterra said it is pressing ahead with the commissioning of its new Leicestershire brick plant in Desford.

The statement added: “Looking ahead we expect to manage our operations on the assumption that 2024 demand will be at a similar level to 2023 and, accordingly we will look to align production output with this level of sales, thereby limiting further inventory growth.

“Growing political focus on increasing housing supply ahead of a general election reinforces the board’s confidence in the long-term industry fundamentals and the board remains confident that the group remains well placed to benefit when market demand recovers.”