Forterra on track

Forterra, a leading UK producer of manufactured masonry products, operating profit for the year ended 31 December to be in line with management's forecasts.

An update says that in the last two months of the year, the group continued to see good levels of activity from the major housebuilders and also from merchants as the excess brick inventory levels built up in the supply chain continued to reduce.

Brick sales volumes were ahead of prior year for both months and also for the year as a whole.

The update continues: "Strong cash generation and improved working capital flows in the last quarter resulted in net debt of approximately £93 million at 31 December 2016, giving a leverage (net debt to adjusted EBITDA) ratio of less than 1.5 times. This represents significant deleveraging in less than a year and compares with 2.2 times at IPO. We are continuing to invest in the business in line with our strategy, and the improvement projects previously announced at our brick facilities at Desford and Claughton have commenced." Results for the year ended 31 December will be announced on 15 March.