Building materials group Baggeridge Brick yesterday said first half profits would be "substantially" hit by a rise in gas prices over winter, writes John Revill.
In a statement ahead of its annual meeting, the group - based at Sedgley in the Black Country - said it no longer had a fixed price agreement with suppliers of gas and prices had been volatile.
However it said full year results to the end of September were expected to stay in line with forecasts.
It said that - like others in the industry - it had adopted a floating pricing agreement with energy suppliers which had resulted in much higher bills.
Chairman Alexander Ward said the firm raised prices from January 1, and sales levels since the beginning of October were similar to the same period in 2004. Baggeridge's pretax profits fell 30.8 per cent to £5.5 million in the 12 months to the end of September.
Its main business is the manufacture of bricks and pavers at five locations - Hartlebury, Kingsbury, Sedgley and Waresley in the Midlands and Rudgwick, near Horsham in West Sussex.
The company, which employs 550 people overall, also has landfill sites in the West Midlands. Chief executive Alan Baxter said the company had seen its energy bill increase by more than 100 per cent since late October.
Expectations for full-year profits remain unchanged despite the first half being adversely affected by the winter gas price, he added.
Mr Baxter said this was because the surge in fuel prices had been taken into account when forecasts were made, and that, while bills had more than doubled, they did not get as high as they might have done.
Baggeridge said non-executive director Rupert Soames would not be standing for re-election at the AGM.
His replacement has not been identified.
Shares in the company finished the day up 1.5p at 170.5p.