CRH chief executive Albert Manifold

CRH chief executive Albert Manifold

Irish construction materials giant CRH is likely to spend over US$1 billion in 2017, on acquisitions, according to chief executive, Albert Manifold.

During the firm’s results presentation, he said the group could comfortably spend between $2 billion $3 billion on acquisitions over the next 18 months, but stressed this was within the firm’s spending capacity and did not relate to specific targets for the firm.

Robert Eason of Goodbody Stockbrokers said of the statement, “Such activity is all underpinned by a very strong balance sheet, with net debt to EBITDA at the end of 2016 of 1.7 times.”

The $600 million already spent by CRH equates to more than twice what the firm spent in the whole of 2016.

That said, the figure falls well short of the record $8 billion CRH spent on acquisitions in 2015, when it bought many of the assets offloaded by its European competitors, Holcim and Lafarge, to make way for their headline-making merger.

Having most recently strengthened its position in the North American market, reports suggest the firm is now eyeing potential acquisitions in the Philippines and Poland.

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