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Ibstock retrenches in face of softening demand

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Ravenhead bricks
Ravenhead bricks

Half-year results for Ibstock plc saw profits tumble 42% from £55m last time to £30m this year. That result includes a £10.7m one-off cost arising from the closure of Ravenhead. Of this, £1.5m is for redundancy payments.

Revenue for the six months ended 30th June 2023 was down 14% at £223m (2022 H1: £259m).

With both the new-build and repair & maintenance market having slowed, Ibstock has been tightening its belt.

“Actions have included temporary redeployment of colleagues towards sustaining and maintenance activities, discretionary spending freezes and headcount reductions,” said chief executive Joe Hudson. “At the end of June 2023, we took the difficult but necessary decision to announce proposals to cease production at our Ravenhead brick factory. Subject to consultation, the closure of this wire cut brick factory in the northwest of England will reduce our current network capacity by around 40 million bricks.”

He added: “We remain vigilant on costs and, as we have demonstrated in the recent past, will continue to take any further action necessary to ensure capacity is aligned with market demand, to protect the performance of the business.”

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