In response to the article regarding Wienerberger UK’s mothballing of factories (6 June, page 9), the slowdown in the UK building materials sector was the sharpest the industry has ever seen and was without precedent in the UK.

The steps announced, in terms of mothballing two of our factories and reducing short-term output from our other UK factories, were not a cost-cutting exercise but designed to bring levels of supply and demand in line with each other.

We believe the steps will be sufficient to combat the challenges we face. However, should demand fall below the levels forecast or the downturn continue over the longer term, we would have to review our options.

Wienerberger is fully committed to the development of its business in the UK. Because the conditions currently experienced were financially induced and the UK still has an enormous under-supply of housing that will have to be addressed, the long-term drivers for demand are still positive.

Our plants reducing their levels of output will allow the company to carry out maintenance and improvement projects. As well as installing more modern and efficient facilities we are looking to develop new products and building systems.

Wienerberger will continue to consult all stakeholders in its UK business and work closely with all of its customers to ensure it continues to offer the widest range of products, backed up by the highest standards of customer service.