First coals to Newcastle, now bricks to Britain

Building products group Brickworks has opened the way to export Australian bricks to the United Kingdom, according to a company investor update.

Managing Director Lindsay Partridge said the company’s supply agreement with UK building products distributor Brickability would see the sale of the Sydney company’s bricks in the UK market.

Partridge said: “This supply agreement marks a significant strategic milestone for the company.

“The UK is an attractive expansion opportunity, with annual demand of around three billion bricks, of which around 10-20 percent is sourced from imports.”

Partridge said the company was well positioned to service the exports market from North America and would initially source bricks from its Hanley and Pittsburgh plants in Pennsylvania.

“Our currently mothballed Rocky Ridge plant in Maryland will also be recommissioned to produce dedicated bricks specifically tailored for the UK market.

“Once we have established supply from North America, we will also investigate the feasibility of additional product supply from Australian plants.”

The ten-year supply agreement between the two companies includes a minimum purchase quantity of 10 million bricks per year.

The trading update also confirmed a record underlying Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) of $746 million for FY22, up 159 percent from the prior year.

Including significant items and discontinued operations, the statutory NPAT was $854 million, up 257 percent.

Chairman of Brickworks Robert Millner also warned of the inflationary impacts of rising gas prices.,

Millner said: “After repeated warnings from industry, the gas supply crunch on Australia’s east coast has now well and truly arrived, with extreme market volatility and price increases.

“The gas we use to fire the bricks in our kilns cannot be easily substituted for alternative renewable energy
sources – as such, ready access to reliable and affordable gas is essential for our industry.

“We only need to look to Europe to understand the cost of continued inaction by government.”

To avoid a similar situation in Australia, Millner said it was critical that additional gas supplies that are reliable and affordable for domestic users were brought online as quickly as possible.

Picture: Brickworks Ltd

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