Expert for Cement & Aggregates

Andy Simpson

Packed Products Director



Hanson is part of the Heidelberg Cement Group, which has leading global positions in aggregates, cement and concrete. The business produces aggregates (crushed rock, sand and gravel), ready-mixed concrete, asphalt, cement and cement related materials.

Hanson UK is split into four business lines – aggregates, concrete, asphalt and contracting and cement – which together operate around 300 manufacturing sites and employ over 3,500 people.

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Heidelberg Materials Comment: Q3 2023

It’s a tough market for aggregates right now and this was reflected in Q3’s subdued performance. Trading was much harder than expected and the seasonal uplift we would normally expect to see after the summer holidays didn’t materialise. We are already seeing firms in the construction industry struggling to stay afloat – or worse still, going under.

The dismal outlook was echoed in the latest figures from the Mineral Products Association. Volume sales of ready mix concrete (-15.0%) and sand and gravel (-12.2%) fell sharply in Q3 – the largest decreases in these categories in over a decade. Mortar sales were also down -8.7%, however strong regional activity boosted asphalt (+1.6%) and crushed rock (0.3%) sales quarter on quarter.

Pressure on volume sales largely came from the slowdown in housebuilding activity and delays to big infrastructure projects. The cancellation of phase two of HS2 also came as a major blow. The government has pledged to fund other infrastructure projects, particularly in the north where its most needed, but we are concerned at the lack of detail – what projects and when?

The RMI market is contributing to struggling aggregate sales. Inflation remains high and the cost of living crisis hasn’t gone away. There are still ‘Haves’ with money to spend but we are seeing this increasingly diverted away from home improvements and towards holidays and other little luxuries. After the sharp increase in property projects started during Covid, a lull afterwards was perhaps inevitable.

In better news, for us at least, we officially became Heidelberg Materials in October. It’s the same products and same people, but our new branding brings Hanson under our global parent company’s umbrella and better aligns us with the organisation’s ambitions to be more sustainable.

Looking ahead, the outlook for 2024 is flat at best until at least H2, with steady, slow growth thereafter into 2025. With a general election coming next year, perhaps a change in the political environment is the positive impact we need to raise expectations.