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Ian Pollard – Ibstock Warns As Production Falls

Ibstock plc IBST updates that demand in the UK brick markets is robust and factories have been producing at, or close to, full capacity for an extended period. Adjusted EBITDA for the six months to the 30th June  is expected to be about £58m  which reflects the impact of bad weather at the start of the year and higher energy costs.But whilst demand from the new housing sector has been strong and market fundamentals are favourable, there are clouds on the horizon and it looks as if the tide may be turning to reflect the realities of life among the house builders. In recent months and particularly in July, production has been lower than expected and it is now anticipated that output for the second half of the year, will be below expectations.

Keller Group KLR is increasing its interim dividend by 24% for the half year to the 30th June, after rises in statutory pofit before tax and earnings per share of 31% and 37% respectively.   First half revenue was a record at £1,075m with constant currency growth of 15%. The strong financial performance was achieved despite a harsh winter in the northern hemisphere and markets have remained broadly healthy.

Cranswick CWK revenue in the first quarter to the 30th June was 3.2% ahead of the same period last year and export revenues were modestly ahead. The Group is in a robust financial position with net debt of 18m. a year ago having been turned into net cash of 8m. at the quarter end despite substantial ongoing capital investment.

Senior plc SNR Trading in the six months to the 30th June has been slightly ahead of expectations with profit before tax for the half year riing by 36% and basic earnings per share by 25%. The interim dividend is to be increased by 6.8% and he order book remains strong across most of the businesses.

Dialight plc DIA claims to have taken targeted actions to improve its operational performance during the six months to the 30th June. Despite that, statutory profit before tax fell from 4.0m. to 2.8m. and earnings per share  from 8p to 6.4p.  Late orders have been significantly reduced since the start of the year and on-time delivery and cost performance are now both excellent, it says. The move from recovery to growth leaves the Group excited by its future prospects.

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