Brick jobs to go as Covid-19 close-down bites

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Brick manufacterers Ibstock and Forterra are to lose 600 jobs as a result of lower forecast demand following the Covid-19 pandemic.

With despatches around half what they were this time last year both businesses said selective sites may close and the size and structure of support functions will change.

Forterra will mothball its hollowcore flooring manufacturing facility at Swadlincote in Derbyshire, while all precast concrete flooring products will be consolidated into its Hoveringham facility in Nottinghamshire.

Chief executive Stephen Harrison said: “Economic and industry forecasts indicate a prolonged impact from Covid-19 on the UK economy and more specifically the construction sector.

“Although the Construction Products Association’s most recent forecast anticipates the residential construction market will recover during 2021, output in 2021 is forecast to be approximately 20% lower than in 2019.”

Forterra said that daily despatches of brick and block products had now recovered to half of last year’s levels.

In a trading statement this morning (June 3) the firm said that the Covid-19 lockdown saw group revenue fall 39% for the five months to 31 May 2020 compared to last year, with a year-on-year decline of 86% in April and 62% in May.

Ibstock chief executive Joe Hudson said: “The changes anticipated will ensure our business is adapted to the near-term industry demand outlook, we retain the flexibility to scale production back up, as and when demand recovers.”
Ibstock PIC

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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