Hanson PLC has issued a trading statement in advance of the February 19, 2004, announcement of its preliminary results for the year ending December 31, 2003. The expectation of more resilient second half trading conditions provided at the time of the July interim results announcement has been met. On a constant currency basis, second half continuing group trading profit (post goodwill, before reorganization costs) is forecast to be approximately 6% higher than the prior year period (vs. a decline of 9% in the first half). This stronger performance principally reflects a catch-up in U.S. and UK volumes, together with continuing buoyant trading conditions in Australia. Hanson expects to report 2003 pre-tax, pre-exceptional profit (before non-exceptional reorganization costs of £9 million) in line with current market consensus.
For additional details, call (44) 020-72451245 or visit http://www.hansonplc.com .