Breedon shutting most UK sites over virus

Construction materials group Breedon is to temporarily suspended production at all but one of its UK sites due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Breedon operates sites across the West Midlands
Breedon operates sites across the West Midlands

Only the Hope cement plant in Hope Valley, Derbyshire, will remain fully operational.

Breedon, which has operations across Shropshire and the West Midlands, is taking the action to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff, sub-contractors, customers and communitie.

Operations which serve critical supply needs will continue.

It has the Leaton Quarry, near Telford; concrete plants at Shareshill, between Cannock and Wolverhampton, and Oldbury and a cement and aggregates depot at Walsall.

During the course of this week it has been gradually winding down the relevant sites, whilst ensuring that they are in a condition to be quickly and safely brought back online at the appropriate time.

Operations in the Republic of Ireland, including the cement plant at Kinnegad, continue to operate pending further guidance from the Irish Government.

Breedon said it welcomed the introduction of the UK Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which should ensure that staff continue to receive a proportion of their pay during a period of furlough.

Following the more stringent measures introduced by the Government on Monday, there has been an immediate and significant reduction in demand for its products which it expects to continue until restrictions on movement are relaxed.

The group has a strong balance sheet and significant liquidity headroom. IT has £335 million of drawn debt on its facility, cash of £60mn and an undrawn committed facility of £220m.

In light of the restrictions relating to Covid-19, the board has agreed to defer the 2020 AGM to a later date.

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