Breedon returns to first half profit

Construction materials group Breedon returned to profit in the first six months of 2021 helped by recovery in building activity in the UK.

Breedon has quarries and concrete plants across the West Midlands
Breedon has quarries and concrete plants across the West Midlands

The group, which has quarries in Shropshire and concrete plants in the Black Country and Staffordshire, said it enjoyed strong trading and operational performance.

Group revenue was up from £335.3 million in the first half of 2020, which was hit by the coronavirus pandemic, to £600.9m.

The pre-tax profit of £46.2m compared to a £10.1m loss in the same period last year and a £39.5m profit in 2019 before the pandemic.

Chief executive Rob Wood said: "Breedon delivered a strong trading result in the first half of 2021, building on the recovery in demand which started in the second half of last year. This resilient performance reflects the commitment and efforts of all our colleagues; who have each demonstrated the highest levels of enthusiasm, professionalism and flexibility in working safely across the business, despite the challenges of the past 15 months.

"This encouraging trading performance and cash generation has helped to strengthen the group's balance sheet and we are pleased to announce our first dividend as planned, along with our commitment to a progressive dividend policy.

Breedon operates two cement plants and an extensive network of quarries, asphalt plants and ready-mixed concrete plants, together with slate production, concrete and clay products manufacturing, contract surfacing and highway maintenance operations.

It employs approximately 3,500 people and has over a billion tonnes of mineral reserves and resources.

It owns Leaton and Leinthall quarries in Shropshire and has concrete plants at Cannock, Oldbury, Stafford and Woofferton, near Ludlow.

There is also a cement and aggregates depot at Walsall.

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