RMC jumps as it admits to sale of German arm

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The Independent Online

RMC is considering selling its troubled German business, it admitted yesterday.

RMC is considering selling its troubled German business, it admitted yesterday.

The news of the possible disposal of a major part of the building materials company sent its shares up 40.5p to 653.5p. RMC was advised to make a clarifying statement after rumours of the divestment circulated among investors on Friday. It said: "The board confirms that it is carrying out a strategic review of its options regarding certain of its businesses, including those in Germany."

The company is committed to reducing debt from £1.5bn currently to below £1bn by the end of next year. Reporting 2001 results earlier this month, RMC implied to would get there by a series of smaller disposals and better cash flow.

Yesterday, it made it clear that the whole of the German business could be on the block. Last year, RMC's German turnover was down 13 per cent at £905m but profits crashed from £49m to £5m. The building materials market in Germany has been in recession since the second half of the 1990s.

Separately, Philipp Holzmann, the major German building group which faced collapse two years ago, appeared yesterday to be in a fresh financial crisis.

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