CRH eyes acquisitions despite weak demand

By Steve Skinner02 March 2010

CRH reported sales in 2009 of € 17,3 billion, down -17% on the € 20,8 billion recorded 12 months ago. Pre-tax profits for the year also fell -55% to € 732 million, down from € 1,6 billion in 2008.

Despite the declines, the company believes that as a result of resizing and restructuring over the past three years it is now in an ideal position to take advantage of what chief executive Myles Lee describes as, "value-enhancing acquisition opportunities as they arise across the Group's core markets."

Commenting on the Group's 2009 figures Mr Lee said, "Residential and non-residential markets in both Europe and the US declined during 2009, with government-funded infrastructure investment only partially compensating."

The 2009 results reflect € 205 million of restructuring costs as well as € 848 million in depreciation and amortisation according to a company statement.

Looking towards 2010, Mr Lee said, "We expect another difficult year with continuing declines in non-residential activity across our core markets, not helped by prolonged severe weather in Europe and North America during both January and February.

"That said, the adjustments to our cost base and our ongoing restructuring measures, together with our balance sheet capacity, means the Group is operationally strong and able to respond to acquisition opportunities and any upturn in demand," he said.

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