Albert Manifold, CRH

Albert Manifold, CRH

Irish building materials group CRH has sales for 2014 increase 5% to €18.9 billion. The company’s pre-tax profits hit €761 million in 2014, against a loss of €215 million the previous year.

In its outlook for 2015, the company said market conditions were improving in key locations such as the US. For Europe, it said the general picture was “somewhat mixed,” with improvement expected in the western European residential development market.

Albert Manifold, chief executive, said, “2014 was a year of strong strategic, operational and financial progress for CRH. We were able to use the underlying strength of our business to capitalise on the recovering markets and deliver a return to profit and margin growth.”

He added, “With further improvements expected in market conditions across our main geographies, together with easing commodity prices, the benefits of cost efficiencies and a favourable exchange translation effect, we expect 2015 to be another year of progress.”

Its upturn in results followsan agreement worth €6.5 billion to acquire assets from the soon-to-be merged Lafarge and Holcim.

Once completed, the acquisitions are set to make CRH the third largest global materials group, strengthening its position in core areas of operation within North America and Europe.

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