Ibstock to cut 15% of its workforce due to Covid-19 pressure

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workforce at risk

Ibstock plc, manufacturer of clay bricks and concrete products, has today (3 June) issued a trading update, announcing that up to 375 jobs are at risk

This review is expected to lead to a material reduction in Ibstock’s fixed cost base, through site closures, changes in operating patterns and changes to the size and structure of support functions.

Ibstock has entered into consultations with employees across the group as part of the restructuring, with up to 375 positions, representing around 15% of the group’s total workforce, potentially impacted as a result of these actions.

Ibstock says it has taken significant action to address the challenges presented by Covid-19. These measures have included utilising the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for a significant portion of colleagues during the shutdown period, reducing discretionary spend wherever possible and implementing a temporary salary reduction for the board and the executive leadership team.

A sharp decline

Ibstock revealed that sales volumes during the first ten weeks of the year were below the comparative period.

The company saw a sharp decline in sales volumes from late March as the government measures to control the Covid-19 pandemic began to take effect and our construction and housebuilding customers closed sites.

Ibstock revenues for the three months to 31 March 2020 were down by approximately 10% compared to the comparative period, with a decline of around 75% in the two months to 31 May 2020.

Clay division recovery

Ibstock stated: “During April, volumes in our Clay division fell by around 90% year on year, whilst exposure to infrastructure and RMI markets meant that volumes in our concrete division remained relatively more resilient during that period.

“As the construction and housebuilding sectors have begun to return to work over recent weeks, trading conditions have started to improve.

“We have seen a modest recovery in clay brick sales although volumes currently remain around 70% below the comparative period. Concrete volumes are now at around 50% of those from the same period in 2019.”

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