|Master Investor Magazine
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The share price of FTSE 250 brick and concrete manufacturer Ibstock (LON:IBST) rose by 4.14% to 261.80p (as of 13:30 GMT) after the firm posted a 19.1% improvement in pre-tax profits for the year ended 31st December. Revenues were up by 7.9% as the company’s brick production arm benefited from a robust house building sector in the UK and profits were further boosted by the successful disposal of Ibstock’s US brick business and surplus property.
CEO Joe Hudson commented: “2018 was a busy year of development for Ibstock, and we are pleased to be announcing profit growth and cash generation in line with management’s expectations.
“Two strategic milestones were achieved during the year. First, we commissioned our new 100 million capacity brick factory in Leicestershire, adding significant new capacity to our UK brick operations. Secondly, we also took the decision to dispose of Glen Gery, our US brick manufacturing business, to focus the Group on the UK market, where we have leading positions. I am also pleased to report that the enhanced maintenance programme announced in July remains on track.
“With our business structure now simplified and with a clear strategic focus on the UK, we are updating shareholders today on a range of operational excellence initiatives to optimise performance of both our clay and concrete businesses in the years ahead. We will maintain our disciplined approach to investment and capital allocation, and our strong balance sheet gives us the opportunity to invest to grow, either organically or by selective acquisition.
“Whilst we remain mindful of the current political and economic uncertainties in the UK, Ibstock is well-positioned, with market fundamentals that remain encouraging for the medium term. We look forward to another year of progress for the Group“.