Ibstock to treble brick capacity as housing demand soars

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Ibstock PLC (LON:IBST) has dusted off and expanded its plan to reopen its Atlas site in the West Midlands due to the current demand for bricks.


“As the residential housing market recovers, domestic demand for clay bricks will continue to exceed that available from domestic manufacturing capacity,” it said in a statement.


In view of that, the existing mothballed facility at Atlas will be replaced with a new state-of-the-art wire cut clay brick factory.


The new plan also includes an increase in capacity and improved environmental performance as well as an upgrade and expansion of the adjacent Aldridge brick factory.


In total, the redeveloped facilities will deliver a capacity of 115mln bricks a year, equivalent to a net increase in Ibstock clay’s network capacity of 75mln bricks, it said.


The project, which is subject to final planning permission, will cost GBP60mln with commissioning to start in the second half of 2023.


Earnings should be boosted by GBP12mln a year once it reaches full operation in 2024.


Joe Hudson, chief executive, added: “With the market outlook now clearer, we are refocusing on growth.


“Redevelopment of our wire cut brick facilities in the West Midlands will deliver a significant capacity expansion, further demonstrating our leadership in the clay brick market, which is expected to continue its long-term growth over time.”


Hudson added Ibstock had started the current year well with good demand both in new builds and for repair work.


Sales volumes in the clay division for the first quarter were ahead of internal expectations, he said, while concrete volumes for the quarter were in line.

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