Holcim, the world's second-biggest cement maker, which took over Midlands group Aggregate Industries, reported a 70 per cent jump in first-quarter net profit.
And much of it was down to the £1.8 billion acquisition of the Leicester-based ex-Stock Exchange quoted business.
The figures were boosted by strong demand for building materials, and Holcim conf irmed its upbeat 2006 outlook.
The cement maker, which has benefited from a boom in the construction market as economies recover around the world, reported net profit before minorities of 273 million Swiss francs (£120 million).
The group also confirmed its 2006 earnings target of internal operating EBITDA (earn-ings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) growth above its long-term average of five per cent.
"The building cycle is still intact, which will support demand in most countries at the current high levels," Holcim said in a statement.
"These are good numbers in the first quarter. On the revenue and operating level the figures are above consensus but not sensational," one market analyst said.
The group has a strong presence in emerging markets, such as India, where building activity is rising quickly.
Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch analyst Remo Rosenau said: "India is booming."
Acquisitions there, along with the Aggregates deal, helped Holcim boost revenue by 70 per cent to 4.63 billion francs (£2 billion) in the first three months of the year.
On a like-for-like basis - excluding acquisitions - revenues grew 17.6 per cent. Currency movements boosted sales by 11.4 per cent.
Holcim's performance compares with that of larger rival Lafarge, which reported a better-than-expected revenue growth of 28 per cent for the quarter and added it saw favourable trends for 2006.
Holcim shares trade on a par with Lafarge at around 14 times projected 2006 earnings.
Better weather conditions in the United States and price increases in many regions also supported sales and earnings growth in the first three months of the year, the company said.
"The state of the North American construction industry remains very healthy. Thanks to the mild, dry winter, in many places building sites were able to work through the season without a break. This generated additional demand for building materials," it said.
North America accounted for 18.5 per cent of its sales, while Europe makes up 34.5 per cent.
The group said its European business did well in the first three months.
Operating EBITDA in Europe increased by 66.3 per cent. "This success was mainly due to first-time consolidation of Aggregate Industries," Holcim stated.
Latin America saw continued growth and Africa, Middle East also witnessed a solid development.
Lord Fowler has a seat on the governing body of Holcim.
A former MP for Sutton Coldfield, Cabinet minister and chairman of Midland Independent Newspapers, a previous publisher of The Birmingham Post, he was formerly non-executive chairman of Aggregate.
Holcim said the firm had profited from cement exports to Aggregate Industries' operations in the UK.
Overall, cement sales in Europe rose by 7.3 per cent to 5.9 million tonnes.
Globally, deliveries of cement were up by 24.7 per cent year-on-year. Sales of aggregates rose significantly, recording an 89.6 per cent jump, and volumes of ready-mix concrete sold also achieved 44.4 per cent. ..SUPL: