- Ibstock's pre-tax profits rose to £38.9m in the six months to the end of June - up 2.7% on last time.

Profit before tax pre-exceptionals was up 14.4% at £43.3m.

Revenues increased by 8.7% to £228.3m and adjusted EBITDA rose by 7.4% to £59.7m.

The group has declared an interim dividend of 2.6p per share - up 8.3%.

Chief executive Wayne Sheppard said: "The Group has delivered a robust first half performance.

"UK brick volumes were well ahead, driven by good activity levels in the UK new build housing sector and our concrete businesses also enjoyed solid growth.

"Against this backdrop of continued robust demand we are investing in the UK clay business to increase capacity.

"Our new brick factory in Leicestershire will begin commissioning in the final quarter of this year, with production to build progressively across 2018.

"When operating at its full capacity of 100m bricks per annum it will expand UK domestic brick production by 5%, adding a much needed new source of supply.

"A second project - to increase capacity at our blue brick plant at Cannock - is also on track.

"Looking ahead, the longer term fundamentals underpinning the new-build housing market in the UK - government support, good mortgage availability and an undersupply of new homes - remain in place, although we continue to be alert to any changes in customer confidence stemming from political uncertainty after the recent General Election result and the on-going Brexit negotiations.

"The Group remains strongly cash generative, we are investing for further growth, and our expectations for another year of progress are maintained."

Story provided by