U.K. Brick Makers Ramp Up Production

Words: Dan Kamys

U.K. Brick Makers Ramp Up Production

The hot property market and a pick-up in housebuilding is expected to have buoyed British brickmaker Michelmersh Brick Holdings when it reports half-year results on Monday.

The AIM-listed company has been ramping up production at its brickworks as builders complain of materials shortages now that the construction sector is climbing out of recession. Michelmersh, which is made up of centuries-old brickworks acquired since the late 1990s, has benefited from rising demand and prices.

Investors will be looking for more news that the company is expanding production.

The results follow news of 120 new jobs in the UK at rival Wienerberger. The Austrian company, the world's largest producer of bricks, announced plans to re-open two mothballed factories and increase production in the UK by 200m bricks a year, the equivalent of about 25,000 homes.

Harald Schwarzmayr, the firm's managing director, said: "This capacity increase shows our absolute commitment to ensuring that enough new housing is built to meet the requirements of the market.

"The UK needs a minimum of 200,000 new homes to be built each year, approximately 35,000 more than will be started in 2014. With our capacity increases equating to approximately 25,000 homes each year, Wienerberger is capable of manufacturing the core material for more than 70% of that extra housing requirement needed."

He added: "These are big numbers, and we hope it shows exactly how serious we are about giving our customers and the industry the best possible service. Likewise, we are very much aware that we need to attract more young people into construction, and the 120 new jobs created should help provide opportunities to the next generation ofconstruction industry workers."

This article first appeared at www.theguardian.com.

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