- Forterra trading in the four months to the end of April was good and built on the momentum seen towards the end of 2016, according to an update issued ahead of today's annual general meeting.

The update said: "The new-build residential market continues to see robust levels of activity and brick sales volumes for the four months were well ahead of the same period in 2016, recognising that the comparative was softer due to supply chain destocking.

"As reported previously, price increases for the year have been agreed with most customers in order to cover the increases in the cost base.

"Overall Group revenue for the four months was 6% ahead of the prior year.

"The project to replace the dryers at the Claughton brick facility in Lancashire is well advanced and on schedule to enable the kiln to be re-lit during the summer.

"Once completed, the project will increase production efficiency and add capacity of 5 million bricks per annum.

"The project to increase the gas supply at the Desford brick facility in Leicestershire is also progressing well, and the installation of new kiln burners will be carried out later in the year."

The group said it continued to generate good levels of operating cashflow, with an expected increase in trade receivables during the busy spring selling season.

Net debt at the end of April was c£89m compared with £92.3m at the start of the year. The group said the board continued to expect another year of progress in 2017 with, as previously stated, a more balanced outcome for the current year between the first and second halves than in 2016, and its expectations for the full year were unchanged.

At 10:03am: [LON:FORT] Forterra Plc share price was +4p at 264p

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