Losses in UK cement and aggregate division drags RMC profits down by £18.6m.

RMC’s profit has been hit heavily by a decline in road building and stoppages at a large cement factory. The material giant said that earnings before tax fell £18.6m to £22.4m for the six months to June.

RMC said that reduced spending by the Highways Agency had led to a 10% fall in demand for asphalt, which had had a knock on affect on aggregate demand.

It blamed a switch in the supply of raw materials for the stoppages at its cement factory in Rugby. To maintain customers’ supplies RMC Materials had to import cement from abroad, which resulted in a £6m fall in profit for the cement business.

To cut costs RMC said that it was currently making 80 workers redundant at the Rugby and South Ferriby cement plants, and the division’s headquarters.

RMC said that markets outside the UK had performed well and group pre-tax profit rose by £12.1m to £62.8m.

Chairman Sir John Parker said: “The results announced today show that, with the exception of Great Britain, we are sustaining the earnings momentum across the business during an important time of change.”