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Ennstone stops acquisitions of English surfacing contractors

NEWS

ENNSTONE is calling a halt to the flurry of activity that has seen it buy a number of road surfacing contractors in recent months.

The aggregates firm snapped up J&H Parry last October and Smiths last month to bolster its English operation, which centres on the Midlands.

Executive chairman Vaughan McLeod said: 'We would like to have a third of the asphalt produced by our English business laid by our contracting arm. But that's it for the moment. I can't see us buying any more.' The strategy mirrors its operations in Scotland, where it has started work on resurfacing three airport runways for Argyle and Bute Council.

Mr McLeod said Ennstone's Polish business has been boosted by a deal signed in the last few days to provide 30,000 cu m of concrete to a waste water treatment plant in Szczecin in the north-west, where it concentrates its operations.

He added: 'The strategy is to grow our position in the north-west but we're a couple of quarry acquisitions away from where we want to be.

There is a lot of EU funded work, like the water plant, planned for Poland.' Pre-tax profits from continuing operations at Ennstone went back into the black in 2005, with the firm posting a £13 million profit compared with a £565,000 loss last time.

Turnover was up 43 per cent to £160 million.