Building materials giant Hanson recorded better than expected results for last year after earlier warnings about the impact on its profit of the difficult trading conditions, fuel price rises and bad weather.
The group posted a pre-tax profit before exceptional items of £318m, an increase of 1.2% on the previous year. The City had predicted profit of about £310m. Turnover was £3.14bn, up from £1.92bn.

Chief executive Andrew Dougal said fuel costs were £45m higher than expected and that bad weather in the UK and the USA had hit sales and production.

He said: "If it hadn't been for the fuel and weather, our results would have been very good." Dougal said in the next year the company would be preoccupied with consolidation after its acquisition of Australian materials firm Pioneer. He said: "Restructuring needs to follow acquisition. The emphasis has been on growth, now it makes sense to look inward."