Brick sales return to 90% at Forterra

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Building materials supplier, Forterra has revealed its trading has exceeded management expectations despite a half-year loss of £23.3m

In the first half of 2020, Forterra’s revenue fell by 37% to £122.4m.

Despite this, the company said trading since lockdown had “exceeded management expectations although uncertainties remain”.

July and August sales revenues highlight encouraging recovery at 89% and 82% of the prior year respectively.

Brick and Block revenues exceeded 90% of prior year comparison in both months.

Subject to a continuation of current trading conditions and no further Covid-19 driven disruption, the board says it expects full-year EBITDA to be in the range of £27m-£32m.

Facing unprecedented challenges

Stephen Harrison, chief executive officer of Forterra, said: “The group faced unprecedented challenges during the first half and I would like to thank all our employees and other stakeholders for their collaborative approach in overcoming the challenges we faced through this period.

“Inevitably, our results were heavily impacted by Covid-19 and the associated lockdown. We took swift action to ensure the wellbeing of our employees as demand for our products fell dramatically and we ceased production at the majority of our facilities.

“We also acted decisively to manage our cost base and ensure sales and production remained balanced.

“We have now substantially completed a range of restructuring actions and production has now resumed at all our factories.

“I am pleased to report that trading since emerging from lockdown has exceeded management’s expectations and we remain very confident in the long-term recovery of our markets.

“Subject to a continuation of current trading conditions and there being no further Covid-19 driven disruption, the Board expects full year EBITDA, stated before exceptional items, to be in the range of £27m-£32m.

“The board will continue to monitor our key markets and the economy more generally and believes that the group’s strong balance sheet, reinforced by the recent equity placing and refinancing, provides both the resilience and agility required in these unprecedented times.”

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