Brick maker Michelmersh is to make 50 redundancies after falling £483,000 into the red for the year ended 30 June 2008.

Martin Warner, its chief executive, said higher energy prices and the housing downturn would mean job losses at its Telford, Buckinghamshire and Hampshire plants.

The pre-tax loss followed a £93,000 profit in 2007. Despite the fall, turnover climbed 6% from £11.8m to £12.5m.

It also emerged that Michelmersh was in breach of one of its banking covenants, but Warner said talks with lenders were progressing well.

He said: “Our bankers remain supportive and I’m confident we will be able to renegotiate our covenants.”

Michelmersh’s share price has fallen 80% to 27p over the past year.