Last year Ibstock sold its US brick making business Glen Gery for £80m to reduce debt and commissioned a new brick factory in Leicester, adding 100 million bricks a year capacity to production.
For the year to 31st December 2018 Ibstock made a pre-tax profit of £92.5m (2017: £77.7m) on revenue up 8% to £391.4m (2017: £362.6m).
Glen Gery was sold at the end of the year, so there was little impact on revenue.
UK brick demand continues to outstrip domestic supply capacity, said Ibstock chief executive Joe Hudson, who joined Ibstock from Lafarge Holcim last year. In total, the UK market consumed 2.5 billion bricks last year, which was the highest level of consumption since 2007. Of these, 2.1 billion were supplied by domestic production or from existing inventories and 400 million were imported. Even though domestic output increased by 100 million in 2018, imports were up too. Ibstock expects its new Eclipse factory to benefit from this shortfall in domestic production, with 2019 its first full year of production.