By Thomas Allen24 August 2018
Irish building materials supplier CRH has reported continued profit growth in the first half of 2018.
The company’s CEO Albert Manifold said, “We have had a good first half despite significant weather disruption in Europe and North America in the first quarter. Construction markets continued to recover and pricing gathered momentum in key European markets while there was solid volume and price growth against a positive economic backdrop in the Americas.”
Profit before tax was up 5% on the 2017 figure, reaching €497 million in the first half of 2018, compared to €475 million in the same period of the previous year. Profit after tax from continuing operations came to €378 million in the first half of 2018, representing a 9% increase on the €346 million recorded in the first half of 2017.
The company’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) margin was 9.5% – on a par with the EBITDA margin in the first half of 2017.
CRH made sales of €11.9 billion, up 1% on the equivalent period in 2017. Like-for-like sales were 2% ahead of the previous year, with those in Europe up 1%, in the Americas up 3%, and in Asia down 59%.
Manifold also said, “Active portfolio management remains an important element of our ongoing strategic focus on capital allocation while integration of our recent acquisitions is progressing as planned.”
In the year-to-date, the value of CRH’s divestments equalled €2.9 billion and its acquisitions were valued at €3.4 billion.
Phase one of the company’s share buyback programme was said to have been completed, with €350 million returned to shareholders to date.
Looking ahead, Manifold said, “For the second half of they year, despite continuing currency headwinds and challenging conditions in the Philippines, we expect an improvement in the momentum experienced in Europe in the first half of the year and further EBITDA growth in the Americas, which will result in another year of progress for the group.”