- Clay bricks maker Ibstock lifted its guidance on earnings following cost cuts and 'strong' performance in the fourth quarter of the year.

For the year ended 31 December 2020, the company said it now expects to report adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, or EBITDA, 'modestly above' the previous guidance of £50 million.

Cash flow performance for the year was 'materially' ahead of expectations, with closing net debt of approximately £70 million, compared with £85 million as at 31 December 2019, and £103 million reported at 30 June 2020.

Cash flow performance benefited from both the improved trading conditions through the second half of 2020, and the decisive actions taken to manage cost and working capital throughout the period, the company said.

Looking ahead, Ibstock said 'market fundamentals for its products remain robust, with a structural deficit of housing, low interest rates, and Government policy which is supportive of the role the construction sector will play in the UK economic recovery.'

The company expects to announce its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2020 on 10 March 2021.

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