Property & Construction

Forterra plc

Market Cap (£m) 556.1


Company Description

Forterra is the UK's second biggest brick maker, owning nine plants with an annual capacity of 590 million bricks, and further expansion planned for Desford in Leicestershire. The Brick & Blocks division is also a major producer of concrete blocks, including the energy-efficient Themalite range. Its main ranges are economical 'mid-market' products aimed at volume housebuilders. It also offers the unique high-margin 'Fletton' bricks, which were used to build approximately a quarter of the current housing stock of England after WW2, and which are required by many planners for extension of those homes. The Bespoke Products division produces other specialist components used in housing and other sectors, including commercial and infrastructure. The former Hanson Building Products returned to the stock market in 2016.

Investment Summary

The main attractions include: 1. Brick is the overwhelming cladding product of choice for housebuilders. 2. A consolidated industry, dominated by three main players: Ibstock, Forterra and Austria's Wienerberger. There are fewer competitors than in past cycles and, we believe, a greater focus on returns rather than on market share. 3. Long-term growth prospects, led by the Government's commitment to significantly boosting housebuilding. HS2 and other infrastructure projects could boost Bespoke Products. 4. Focus on efficiency and cash generation. Other than the Desford project, the company has channelled most of its investment into projects that increase either energy efficiency or fixed cost recovery, rather than increasing volumes. Since the IPO, until the unique challenges of Covid, the company has regularly exceeded cashflow expectations.

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Company Management Team

  • Stephen Harrison

    Chief Executive Officer

    Stephen joined Hanson plc in October 2002 and held a variety of senior management roles within Hanson and the HeidelbergCement Group. Stephen was appointed Managing Director of Hanson Building Products, the predecessor to Forterra, in 2012. Stephen studied Economics at Kingston University in London and holds a Masters in Business Administration from Cranfield School of Management. Stephen is also an Officer of the Construction Products Association and a Director of the Brick Development Association.

  • Ben Guyatt

    Chief Financial Officer

    Prior to his appointment as CFO, Ben held the role of Director of Finance and Company Secretary having played a key role in the separation of the business from HeidelbergCement and the subsequent listing on the London Stock Exchange. Ben joined Hanson plc in 2006 and held a variety of senior finance and strategy roles within Hanson and HeidelbergCement. Previously Ben held financial management roles at insurance broker, Heath Lambert. Ben is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours in Accounting and Finance from the University of the West of England.