Loss to date: -6% Orig­i­nal en­try point: Buy at 299.4p, 10 May 2018


A DOWN­BEAT TRAD­ING up­date from brick man­u­fac­turer Ib­stock (IBST) means our pos­i­tive call on the com­pany is off to a shaky start.

Ahead of its AGM on 24 May the com­pany re­ported that it got off to a slow start in 2018 thanks, for the most part, to what it de­scribes as an ‘ex­tended win­ter sea­son’. This tal­lied with re­ports from at least some of the names in the house­build­ing sec­tor. The net re­sult, with higher en­ergy prices also a fac­tor, is a sec­ond half weight­ing to its 2018 num­bers.

Al­though trad­ing has im­proved, this cre­ates a risk of miss­ing earn­ings ex­pec­ta­tions if the short­fall can­not be made up.

More pos­i­tively, the com­pany also con­firmed that the com­mis­sion­ing of its new fac­tory in Le­ices­ter is on track. Ir­ish stock­bro­ker Davy says: ‘The tone of Ib­stock’s trad­ing up­date is sub­dued af­ter a slower-than-ex­pected start to the year (largely weather re­lated).

‘No fi­nan­cial fig­ures have been dis­closed but de­spite the slow start an­other year of progress is an­tic­i­pated, al­beit H2 weighted. Our ini­tial sense is that there will be lit­tle change to full year fore­casts, al­though the weight­ing to­wards the sec­ond half in­tro­duces some possible down­side risk.’


We re­tain the faith for now on the ba­sis this rep­re­sents a blip rather than a pro­nounced down­turn in per­for­mance. (TS) BRO­KER SAYS: 3 1 0

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