Quarrying group Tarmac dug out an operating profit of £195 million for its US parent group Anglo American last year.
The figure was comparable to 2004 and was achieved despite the fact that Tarmac's UK markets, except asphalt, had declined, chief executive Robbie Robertson said yesterday.
The business, formerly part of the Tarmac housing, civil engineering and quarrying group, faced pressure on its margins in a "very competitive market".
Tarmac last year revamped its structure and management team to ensure it was focusing on improving services to its customers, Mr Robertson said.
It offloaded a concrete arm in India and plans to sell its Hong Kong business, some non-core assets in Germany and its UK paving and minerals and materials divisions.
Against that are some £40 million-worth of acquisitions, including a Lincolnshire-based road planning company and it is also investing in its UK-based concrete blocks operation.
"Already a strong performer reporting healthy returns in a testing market and economic conditions, we will continue to invest in areas of opportunity as they arise while developing our products and services to meet the needs of the market now and in the future," Mr Roberston said.
At group level, Anglo American announced a 39 per cent leap in annual profits to highlight why its shares have almost doubled in less than a year.
The world's third largest miner, which has a 45 per cent stake in diamonds group De Beers, said underlying profits were up from $2.7 billion (£1.5 billion) in 2004 to a record $3.7 billion (£2.1 billion) last year.
The increase came on the back of higher metal prices, increased demand from China, and record production levels of nickel, zinc, platinum and diamonds. The results sent shares up one per cent to 2172p, valuing the company at £32.5 billion. In April last year, shares were 1130p.
The mining sector was last year's top performer on the London market with a rise of 86 per cent since April 2005.
Anglo chief executive Tony Trahar said: "Many of our businesses achieved record levels of production as buoyant market conditions continued throughout the year."