- Masonry product manufacturer Forterra posted a 60% rise in annual profit, buoyed by a strong UK housing construction market.

Pre-tax profit increased to £59.3m, as revenue rose 12.4% to £331.0m.

The company hiked its dividend 64% to 9.5p per share, up from 5.8p in 2016.

'Following our strong performance in 2017, the current year has started well with brick volumes for the first two months ahead of the comparable period last year,' chief executive Stephen Harrison said.

'Whilst the housing maintenance and improvement market remains subdued, we continue to see good activity levels from the new build residential market and anticipate a more modest level of volume growth compared with the prior year.'

'As anticipated, price increases have now been agreed with most customers in order to cover the increase in our cost base.'

'Based on our order book and indications from major customers, our expectations for 2018 are unchanged.'

At 2:51pm: [LON:FORT] Forterra Plc share price was +5.25p at 300.75p

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