BUILDING materials giant Tarmac is to sell its concrete block paving manufacturing arm in a bid to boost profits.
It will ditch Tarmac TopPave after a strategic review highlighted underperforming sectors within the group.
The Wolverhampton-based company, part of the Anglo American Group, announced its plans to sell TopPave last week.
It claimed spiralling energy costs and a weak UK market had forced its hand despite unveiling operating profits of £195 million for the year ending December 31, 2005.
Ta rmac ch ief executive Rob - bie Robertson said: 'In 2005 we streamlined and strengthened our structure and management team. The new organisation is focused on standardising support processes and reducing costs as well as improving services for its customers. The focus puts underperforming assets, or those that Tarmac cannot see developing scale, under increased scrutiny.' TopPave employs 180 staff at four centres in Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Dorset and Essex.
The firm cost Tarmac £26 million in 1999 and it will look to claw back its initial purchase price plus investments at its plants. It spent more than £10 million developing the Yorkshire plant alone.
A Tarmac spokesman said: 'We are looking to sell TopPave as a going concern and we have had a great deal of interest. We expect to realise full value for the business.'