Michelmersh Brick turnover for the year ended 31 December 2020 was down 2.8% overall to £52.0m (2019: £53.5m).
Pre-tax profit was down a third to £6.9m (2020: 10.4m). Underlying profit before tax was down 17% to £8.0m (2019: £9.6m).
The closure of operations in late March meant that the company lost output of 9.5 million bricks. But efforts were made to recover lost units and by the end of the year, the Michelmersh’s UK output was only 6.5 million units behind the level of output achieved in 2019.
However, not all building sites re-opened in April. “The impact of Covid-19 on deliveries to customers was greater than on manufacturing output as elements of the market were slower to re-open operations,” said joint chief executives Frank Hanna and Peter Sharp. “At the low point, UK despatch volumes were down by 14 million units, however there was pent-up demand in a buoyant construction sector that was released through the second half of the year. By the close of the year, units despatched were only 7.4 million units less than in 2019, in itself a very successful year.”
The concluded: “We remain well placed in a market that is both performing well and has positive, longer-term fundamentals. Challenges over imports and reduced UK manufacturing capacity suggest that demand for our products will remain strong and the first quarter of 2021 has been encouraging with a strong order intake and KPIs [key performance indicators] ahead of expectations despite some poor weather.”