Profit fall of 28% caused by difficult housing market and rising energy costs.

Difficult market conditions and higher energy costs have led to a 29% fall in profit at Baggeridge Brick. It said that a slow down in the housing sector had contributed to the slump in profit.

For the six months to 31 March 2005 pre-tax profit was £2.26m, down from £31.17m over the same period last year. Turnover was also lower, falling 3.8% to £23.75m.

Baggeridge said that the fall in turnover in its Building Materials division reflected a slowdown in demand for bricks. This was compounded by a substantial rise in the price of gas, which the brick manufacturer said it was not able to offset with an increase in the price of bricks.

Chairman Alexander Ward said: “Second half performance relative to the comparative period last year will depend on the strength of the UK brick market and our ability to recover through improved prices increased energy costs faced by the whole of our industry.”

He added: “Notwithstanding the current difficulties, particularly in the housing market, the Board remains positive about the Group’s long term prospects.