Pre-tax profits before exceptional items up 21.0% to 314.3m (259.8m)
Basic earnings per share before exceptional items up 14.7% to 38.9p (33.9p)
Final dividend increased by 5.1% to 9.2p (8.75p) giving a total for the year of 13.4p (12.75p)
Continued strong North America growth Hanson Building Materials America profit up 54.3% to 199.2m
A leading role in sector consolidation 29 acquisitions totalling 417.3m, up 112.8%
Prospects for 2000 are positive.
Andrew Dougal, chief executive, said: A strong performance from our North American operations, supported by higher capital expenditure and bolt-on acquisitions, was the foundation for another encouraging set of results. With a healthy balance sheet, we are now stepping up our investment in existing and new markets. Prospects for the year 2000 are positive, with particular support expected from robust US construction activity.
Christopher Collins, chairman, added: The proposed acquisition of Pioneer International will provide additional platforms for future growth. It will be an excellent geographic and operational fit.