Ibstock expects earnings to be a touch higher than guidance

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Ibstock PLC (LON:IBST) has said it expects adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) to be a touch higher than previously set guidance of £50mln.

The manufacturer of clay bricks and concrete products said it is encouraged by recent market trends in the industry and demand from its house builder and merchant customers, though it remains mindful of coronavirus (COVID-19) uncertainties and the expected changes in the Help-to-Buy and stamp duty rules.

In the year to December 31, 2020, Ibstock’s revenues dropped 23% to £315mln, having only shed 10% in the second half as the market improved.

Activity in the final quarter benefited from better than expected demand in both new build housing and the repairs, maintenance and improvement markets.

The FTSE 250 firm also implemented cost-saving measures that allowed fourth-quarter underlying margins to reach levels similar to the same period in 2019.

The year ended with net debt of £70mln and an existing revolving credit facility of £215mln was extended to March 2023.

Shares rose 6% to 209.31p on Thursday morning.

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