Hanson is seeing continued strong pricing in its aggregates driven US operations. Price increases have exceeded 10%, though underlying volumes are slightly below the level of last year. Building products are seeing higher volumes in pipes and pre-cast concrete, but brick sales are down on the back of the fall in housebuilding activity.
The British aggregates and ready-mixed concrete volumes are down on 2005 as demand has continued to soften, but prices have improved and profits have grown strongly, helped by the acquisition of the Civil & Marine cement extender business last March. Although profits from the British building products operations improved in the second half, results for the year will be lower and additionally hit by restructuring costs. In Continental Europe, profits are ahead in all countries and the Spanish business has had the added benefit of acquisitions.
In Australia, Hanson has benefited from the strength of the resources driven markets of Western Australia and Queensland, which have compensates for the weakness in New South Wales and Victoria, resulting in an overall improvement in both volumes and prices. Elsewhere, results are ahead for the year in Malaysia and Hong Kong. Hanson will announce its full year results on the 22nd of February.