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Lagan offers quarrying arm for sale during restructuring

FINANCE

NORTHERN Irish construction group Lagan has put its quarrying and asphalt contracting operations up for sale.

Balfour Beatty could be interested but Carillion has swiftly ruled itself out.

Michael Lagan, main joint shareholder along with brother Kevin, said: 'The ongoing restructuring process has resulted in the strong performance of the overall group.

'We will continue to review our business and organisational needs, which include giving consideration to the possible divestment of our quarrying and asphalt operations.

'We are committed to building on the success of the Lagan brand and the possible divestment of a part of our business will enable us to focus on any further growth and investment opportunities that may rise for the newly restructured Lagan Group.'

Lagan's operations range from civil contractors Charles Brand and Dew Piling to a housing arm and the Whitemountain quarries, civils and aggregates businesses.

Six years ago, Lagan sold the British arm of Whitemountain to Ringway in a deal that included surfacing plants in Dagenham, Ipswich and Peterborough and contracting divisions working in England and Scotland.

The move to put the business up for sale comes after Lagan posted a 39 per cent leap in pre-tax profits to £29.8 million in the year to March 2006.

Turnover rose 12 per cent to £333.4 million, with operating profit ahead a quarter at £34.5 million.

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