Amec upbeat

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The Independent Online
AMEC,the engineering , construction and development group, and Aggregate Industries, the building materials and merchanting group, both did their best to reassure the City yesterday with positive trading statements. Peter Mason, group chief executive of Amec confirmed that the trading outcome for the year just ended would be in line with market expectations.

The group's cash position remains strong, even after buying back 10 per cent of its convertible preference shares over the last 18 months. The overall pounds 3bn order book has been maintained at the level of last year, and specialist services have increased orders by 18 per cent. The shares fell 2.5p to 177p.

Peter Torn, group chief executive of Aggregates, confirmed that in spite of a poor third quarter, performance in the second half of 1998 was satisfactory and trading ended the year on a firm note. Annual savings of pounds 13m have been achieved as a result of the merger with CAMAS in 1997. The shares shed 0.5p to 69p.