Bellway in for 'Marmite battle' as foreign suppliers up costs

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Housebuilder Bellway is braced for its own version of the Marmite wars in the months ahead as foreign suppliers attempt to push prices higher, boss Ted Ayres said on Tuesday.

Around 90% of the builder’s materials are UK sourced but 10% — including white goods from Italy — are imported.

That makes them vulnerable to suppliers pressing for increases to compensate for the weaker pound, as Marmite-maker Unilever tried with Tesco last week.

“I’m sure we are going to have a few Unilever equivalents and we are going to have to bat them off as best we can,” Ayres said.

Bellway also reported “some upward pressure” on labour costs, particularly in the London and the South-East, where trades such as ground workers, bricklayers and scaffolders are in short supply.

However, the Brexit vote failed to prevent Bellway posting a 27% rise in sales to a record £2.2 billion in the year to July 31, alongside a 40% jump in pre-tax profits to £497.9 million.

The divi was also up 40% to 108p.

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October 18, 2016 |
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