By Steve Goldstein
Shares of FTSE 250-listed brick maker Ibstock jumped as much as 11% on Thursday, as the company reported a boost in activity from both new-build housing and its repairs markets.
Ibstock /zigman2/quotes/201375054/delayed UK:IBST +1.24% said it expects adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization will be “modestly ahead” of its previous guidance of £50 million, and said a structural deficit of housing, low interest rates, and government policy will continue to boost the largest maker of clay bricks in the U.K. Ibstock said it has reduced its net debt to around £70 million from £103 million in June 2020.
“Last year’s cost control measures will have reduced capacity, so it’s also important the group retains the ability to scale back up quickly. What emerges could be an even leaner and more efficient business. Nonetheless, the fortunes of cyclicals like Ibstock are tied to the wider economy. There’s a lot riding on the vaccine rollout and a smooth economic recovery,” said William Ryder, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
Ibstock was one of the few movers on an otherwise quiet day in U.K. markets. The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.07% was up 0.1% shortly after midday.
Sage Group /zigman2/quotes/204528931/delayed UK:SGE -0.08% , the U.K. accounting software company, rose 5% after reiterating full-year guidance and saying fiscal first-quarter recurring revenue rose 4.7%.
IG Group /zigman2/quotes/204134958/delayed UK:IGG +0.66% fell 5%, after agreeing to buy Tastytrade for $1 billion to expand into the U.S. options and futures market , which it says is bigger than the rest-of-world retail contract-for-difference, currency and European Turbo options markets combined.