Strong perfomance in other US sectors boost profit at London-based materials group to £481m

Hanson has posted a rise in pre-tax profit of 12% to £480.8m despite suffering a fall in brick demand in the US housebuilding market.

The London-based materials supplier does half of its business in the US which is experiencing a housing slump. The affect of the downturn was countered by robust demand in the US industrial, infrastructure and commercial sectors.

Alan Murray
Murray: Expects to make further progress in 2007 despite challenging US housing market

Group turnover rose 11.2% to £4.13bn for the year ended 31 December 2006 and operating profit increased 15% to £563m with new acquisitions accounting for £48m of the total.

In the UK Building Products divisions Hanson experienced difficult trading conditions largely because of the weak demand in the repair, maintenance and improvement sector.

Chief executive Alan Murray said “2006 has been a record year for Hanson. This was above our expectations at the time of our December trading statement, primarily due to a strong finish in our North American Aggregates division and additional property profits".

“We have maintained earnings growth momentum, recent acquisitions are performing well and our selling price discipline has been maintained. We expect to make further progress in 2007.”

Shares were up 3p this morning at 830p.