Mining and aggregates giant Anglo American remains committed to selling the UK arm of Tarmac, according to chief executive Cynthia Carroll.
The group announced the planned divestment last October, and sold Tarmac's European businesses for over £250m in February this year, plus other 'non-core' operations.
“The preparatory work to separate the remaining businesses for divestment from the Group is under way and the divestments will be carried out in a manner and to a timetable that maximises value for Anglo American's shareholders,” said Carroll, speaking at Anglo American's interim results for the six months to 30 June 2010.
Tarmac's revenue for the period was £802m, down from £876m in the first half of 2009, while operating profit was up marginally at £18.5m (H1 2009: £17.9m).
Carroll described it as “a resilient performance in a difficult market where European, and in particular UK macroeconomic conditions, continue to be challenging”.
She added: “The UK Quarry Materials business experienced robust demand in the first half, with the effect of the adverse weather conditions in the first two months of the year partially mitigated in later months. Volumes increased, with overall demand showing a 5% increase. Pricing pressures remain a key issue for the business, though their effect has been mitigated by continued success in cost saving initiatives.
“The UK Building Products business saw a significant turnaround, reflecting the results of a major restructuring programme in 2009. The impact of weak demand was partially mitigated by cost reduction initiatives.”
Carroll summarised: “The 2010 outlook in the UK remains weak, but further clarity is expected when government spending plans are set out in the coming months.”