Positive first half for Forterra
Profits and revenue increase following higher sales volumes of bricks and blocks
FORTERRA plc, one of the UK’s leading producers of manufactured masonry products, have reported a 7.6% increase in revenue, to £193.6 million, in the first half of 2019, up from £180 million, in the same period last year.
Forterra say the increased sales was largely driven by price increases across the company’s product lines and higher demand for bricks and blocks, while the business sustained the productivity improvements it made towards the end of last year.
Pre-tax profit in the first half of 2019 was £33.9 million, which was 1.2% ahead of the same period in 2018, whilst EBITDA for the first six months in 2019 was £42.5 million, up £3.3 million from last year.
Continued strong cash generation resulted in a further reduction of net debt to £34.5 million at 30 June 2019, representing 0.4 times the last 12 months’ EBITDA.
Stephen Harrison (pictured), chief executive officer, commented: ‘The Group delivered a result in the first half in line with the Board's expectations. Construction has commenced on our new brick facility at Desford, following full planning consent. Once completed, the £95m investment will result in the largest and most efficient brick plant in Europe.
‘We remain watchful of the impact of the current political and economic uncertainty on our end markets. While noting that some recent economic data points have weakened, demand for products supplied into the new build residential market remains robust. Based on our order book and the continued strength of our core market, the Board's expectations for the full year are unchanged.’