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Brick producer returns to profit

19 Sep 11 Michelmersh Brick Holdings saw a 13% rise in brick sales in the first half of the year and has returned to profit.

Michelmersh sold 36m bricks in the six months to 30 June 2011, compared to 32m in the first half of 2010. Group turnover increased 14% to £12.2m, up from £10.7m last time.

The Sussex-based company has been through a corporate restructuring with centralised sales, finance and administration functions. These have reduced costs and boosted profitability. Operating profit was £508,000 (H1 2010: loss of £152,000) and pre-tax profit was £105,000 (H1 2010: loss of £634,000).

The company said that following last year’s acquisition of Freshfield Lane  Brickworks and closure of plants in Telford, the brick business was now performing well, given the general trading environment, and generating the expected margins.

Chairman Eric Gadsden said: "The business is now well positioned and resilient, benefiting not only from past investment, but also the measures taken over the last two years to direct output to a reduced market.

Our distinct product offering, geography and strength in the RMI market mean that we are well placed to maintain our strong independent position in the brick sector."

He added: “As flagged on many occasions, there is likely to be a significant restructuring of the brick industry in coming months.  Should this occur, we are very well placed to benefit and participate in view of the competition issues facing the limited number of potential participants.  We continue to keep a close watch on any such developments.”

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