Building materials firm makes good on both sides of the Atlantic in first half of 2005.

Hanson PLC has predicted that its operating profit for the first half of 2005 will be up 20% on the same period last year at almost £200m. It says that the strong performance is due to progress made by Hanson Building Products in North America and Hanson Aggregates UK. In a trading statement to the London Stock Exchange it also said that acquisition spend for the six months to 30 June would be close to £300m.

In a separate statement Hanson announced four bolt-on acquisitions in the United States – three in California, one in the south-eastern states of Alabama and Georgia – totalling approximately £100m. It said it had also disposed of its 50% interest in Campbell Concrete and Materials, a ready-mixed concrete business in Houston.

Hanson Chief executive Alan Murray said: “All of these development initiatives are examples of our strategy in action. The three acquisitions in California are an excellent fit with our existing operations and include valuable long-term aggregates reserves in a market we know well. Sherman Pipe expands our building products' footprint in Alabama and Georgia. I'm very pleased with development progress to date and we will continue to look for further bolt-on acquisition opportunities this year.”