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Forterra to mothball Lancashire brickworks

Over capacity has caused brick maker Forterra (formerly Hanson Building Products) to mothball its two brick factories at Accrington and Claughton in Lancashire.
The works were originally mothballed in 2008 at the start of the last recession, but reopened in 2015 and 2013, respectively. The move was revealed in a trading update ahead of Forterra’s interim results in September.

The group said that sales to the builders’ merchants have been affected by “excess inventory continuing to be held by the merchant sector” and that given “current economic uncertainty and sufficient brick inventory levels, the Board has reviewed the current production plan and has decided to maximise the utilisation of our most efficient brick plants and effectively manage our cost base. This is a prudent action that will allow us to continue to meet customers’ needs while effectively managing our costs and cash position until we are able to more effectively forecast demand.”

Forterra was formerly known as Hanson Building Products and floated on the Stock Exchange in April.

The company said profits since then were “in-line with management’s expectations.”

But it added: “Given current economic uncertainty and sufficient brick inventory levels, the Board has reviewed the current production plan and has decided to maximise the utilisation of our most efficient brick plants and effectively manage our cost base.”

Forterra said the mothballing plans were a “prudent action that will allow us to continue to meet customers’ needs while effectively managing our costs and cash position until we are able to more effectively forecast demand.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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