- Specialist brick manufacturer Michelmersh Brick booked a 17% fall in annual profit after the Covid-19 pandemic slowed construction activity and forced a temporary freeze on its manufacturing operations.

The company, however, hiked its dividend, citing a strong cash position.

Pre-tax profit for the year through December fell to £8.0 million, down from £9.6 million year-on-year, as revenue slipped 2.8% to £52.0 million.

Michelmersh Brick more than doubled its final single dividend to 2.5p per share, up from 1.15p year-on-year.

The company said 'strong cash generation' had built to a year-end cash balance of £12.2 million and a positive net cash position.

'To almost equal 2019's revenue level and deliver such robust earnings after operations were suspended for most of April is an incredible achievement,' chairman Martin Warner said.

'Michelmersh is operating in a sector that is currently buoyant and supported by government incentives.'

'As such, it is well placed to capitalise on the UK and Benelux markets with its strong brands, well-invested operational structure and sound financial footing.'

'We are still conscious that Covid-19 continues to cause a level of uncertainty, whilst the UK and Europe are both getting used to post-Brexit conditions.'

'However, the group has had a good start to 2021 and I remain confident that the company can look forward to continued growth and prosperity with the longer-term market fundamentals in our favour.'

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