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Builders merchants' struggles intensify

The figure chimes with the latest trading update from Forterra (FORT), an IC Tip of the Year (219.5p, 3 Jan 2019), which suggests that non-residential construction activity has slowed appreciably, even though “volumes into the new build housing market have remained broadly in line with plan”. Indeed, statistics from HM Revenue & Customs show that the provisional seasonally adjusted count of residential property transactions in September was 2.3 per cent higher year-on-year, and well up on the previous month.

Although residential transactions, or at least those within the new-build segment, continue to underpin overall activity, the brickmaker’s share price duly pulled back, along with those of industry rivals such as Ibstock (IBST), as it confirmed that full-year profits will come up short of the prior year.

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