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MPA figures for 3Q13 show that construction activity is beginning to increase in the UK

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World Cement,

3Q13 results

  • Aggregates, asphalt and ready-mixed concrete sales volumes showed significant growth in 3Q13, ranging from +9% to +11% y/y. Underlying aggregates and ready-mixed concrete trends are now positive with a strong improvement in the moving annual trends. These improvements reflect the increase in residential construction over the past six months. However, as these materials are used throughout the construction sector, the figures indicate that general construction activity is beginning to recover as well.
  • Asphalt sales have declined this year but, following two better quarters, are now positive (+1%) for 2013, although the moving annual trend is still negative following the 18% decline in markets in 2012. These figures indicate road maintenance and construction activity remain at very low levels.

Commenting on the results, Nigel Jackson, Chief Executive MPA, said, “These are welcome figures following historically low 2012 volumes and a painful and extended period of highly depressed markets. It looks like construction is turning the corner but we now need sustained and consistent improvements in overall construction output to build on this early improvement. Government actions, notably the Help to Buy initiative have helped to stimulate increased house building and positive infrastructure announcements have created the prospect of significant medium term growth in this sector. Government now needs to sustain a relentless focus on boosting growth and competitiveness and to deliver on its infrastructure ambitions to ensure that the construction supply chain has the confidence to invest and expand.”

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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