Material supplier says that it is focusing on increasing prices to cover energy price rises in 2005.

Hanson, the heavy building materials company, today said that energy price rises from 2005 would add to its overall costs this year.

In a statement at the company's annual general meeting, chief executive Alan Murray said that its business in the UK had been the weakest.

He also warned that while its Australian business had had a good start to the year, the full year "may be below the strong levels in 2005."

Hanson's US business however was doing well: "We expect demand and pricing in the US to remain strong and we have seen a good first quarter," said Murray.

The company is now focused on increasing its prices to recover energy costs.

Hanson has been hot on the acquisition trail in 2006, with 11 acquisitions worth £515m completed or agreed to date. The there biggest acquisitions comprised 90% of the total value of its acquisitions.

In the UK it bought Civil and Marine, a producer of ground granulated blast slag, for £245m. In the US it bought Florida-based concrete paver, PaverModule, and has agreed to buy aggregates producer Material Service for around £170m.