A 4% rise in sales has been reported by CRH in its latest trading update, for the period between 1 January 2017 and 31 March 2017, which it says was helped by mild weather conditions across the company’s major markets.
Issued in advance of the international building materials group’s annual general meeting, the trading update was said to demonstrate a satisfactory start to the year, with EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) expected to be ahead of the 2016 first half figure of €1.12 billion.
Based on the current momentum, EBITDA was forecast to progress even further in the second half of 2017 and exceed the €2.01 billion recorded in the second half of 2016.
Like-for-like, group sales for the first quarter of 2017 were said to have increased by 3% compared with the same period last year.
In the Americas, the economic and business environment remained positive in the face of less favourable weather conditions and challenging comparisons with the previous year.
In Europe, a 6% rise in like-for-like sales was recorded, which the company said was supported by stabilising trends in key markets and the timing of Easter holidays, which had occurred in the first quarter in the previous year.
However, the report showed that activity in the Philippines had a slow start to the year, with like-for-like sales dropping by 12% compared to the first quarter of 2016. This was impacted by poor weather and competitive market conditions, said CRH.