Source - SMW
Shares of Brickmaker Ibstock racked up gains Tuesday after its annual profits rose by a fifth following the sale of its US brick business and 'good activity' levels within the UK new build housing sector.
 
For the year ended 31 December 2018, pre-tax profit rose 92.5m from a year earlier and revenue grew 7.9% to £391.4m
 
Ibstock Brick 'benefitting from good activity levels within the UK new build housing sector, with both price and volume growth achieved in the year,' the company said. 
 
The company's decision to simplify its group structure, selling its US brick business, Glen-Gery, for US$110m, meant the focus was now on just two businesses in the brick and concrete markets respectively, which 'provide an excellent base for further development,' the company said.
 
The final dividend was unchanged at 6.5p a share, but the total dividend for the year rose 76% to 16.0p a share from a year ago.
 
'2018 was a busy year of development for Ibstock, and we are pleased to be announcing profit growth and cash generation in line with management's expectations,' said Joe Hudson, Chief Executive Officer of Ibstock. 
 
'Two strategic milestones were achieved during the year.  First, we commissioned our new 100 million capacity brick factory in Leicestershire, adding significant new capacity to our UK brick operations.'
 
'Whilst we remain mindful of the current political and economic uncertainties in the UK, Ibstock is well-positioned, with market fundamentals that remain encouraging for the medium term. We look forward to another year of progress for the Group.' 


At 9:26am: (LON:IBST) Ibstock Plc share price was +8.5p at 259.9p