Concrete products maker Ibstock said it was reviewing steps to scale back operations in an effort to slash costs that could lead to a 15% cut in its workforce. The announcement came as the company reported a plunge in sales since March, owing to government-imposed lockdown measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. During April, volumes in the company's clay division fell by around 90% year on year, whilst exposure to infrastructure and RMI markets kept volumes in its concrete division relatively more resilient. Revenues for the three months to 31 March 2020, were down by about 10% on-year. As the construction and housebuilding sectors had begun to return to work over recent weeks, there had been a modest recovery in clay brick sales. But volumes currently remained around 70% below the comparative period and concrete volumes were now at around 50% of those from the same period in 2019. 'Current trading conditions remain difficult but the combination of the cost reductions, restructuring measures and improved liquidity have strengthened the group's ability to meet current challenges and benefit from the eventual recovery in its core markets,' the company said.
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