Portfolio

Ibstock lays solid start to year

By Josh White

Date: Wednesday 24 May 2017

Ibstock lays solid start to year

(ShareCast News) - Clay brick and concrete products manufacturer Ibstock updated the market on its trading in the four months to 30 April on Wednesday morning, ahead of its annual general meeting being held in London during the afternoon.
The FTSE 250 company said the group had shown "encouraging" trading momentum in the first four months of 2017.

"Our UK brick sales have continued to progress in the first four months of 2017 principally reflecting good volume growth into the new build residential housing market and a return to normal levels of sales through builders merchants," the board said in its statement.

"Price increases by sales channel have been achieved in line with expectations with average pricing year to date reflecting the increased new housing volumes."

The UK concrete businesses had achieved a "good start "to the year, the board reported, whilst in the US an unusually mild winter boosted sales in the early months of the year, although activity in March and April had fallen back to more traditional seasonal levels.

"We continue to progress our organic growth investment projects with the commissioning of our new 100 million brick per annum soft mud factory in Leicestershire anticipated to commence in the fourth quarter of 2017.

"Forticrete's new concrete roof tile manufacturing line is now in production and the new innovative roof tiles have been well received by the market.

"The new kiln project at Lodge Lane is also progressing to plan."

Looking ahead, Ibstock said market fundamentals in UK remained "robust" with the demand for new housing in particular continuing to underpin activity levels in both the company's clay and concrete businesses.

At the current early stage in the US building season, the company said it anticipated a "steady performance" in its US business.

"The board expects another year of progress for the group and its expectations for the full year remain unchanged.

"The group's results for the six months to 30 June will be announced on 10 August."

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