Irish

Wednesday 23 July 2014

CRH pays out €220m in second half of 2013

John Mulligan

Published 08/01/2014|02:30

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Albert Manifold, new CRH CEO, with his predecessor Myles Lee
Albert Manifold, new CRH CEO, with his predecessor Myles Lee

CRH spent €220m on acquisitions and investments in the second half of 2013, bringing its total spend for the year to €700m.

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But investors will still have to wait until the end of February for the outcome of a root-and-branch review of the businesses being spearheaded by newly ensconced chief executive Albert Manifold.

Ireland's biggest company said that its acquisitions in the last six months included assets in France, Colorado, Texas and Mississippi.

CRH's associate business in China, Yatai Group Building Materials, also completed the €46m acquisition of Zhongbei Cement.

Earlier in 2013, CRH paid nearly €100m for a cement business in Ukraine and invested in India.

"During the second half of the year, we continued to strengthen our cement operations in high-growth markets in Ukraine, India and China," said Mr Manifold.

The new CEO has promised a review of CRH's business that will result in more than incremental change. He has said the review will probably result in the sale of some units.

Tom Holmes, an analyst at Investec in Dublin, said that investors would want to be confident the review of the CRH business was thorough and clearly identified operations that could play a long-term earnings role.

During the second half of 2013, CRH's Americas Materials division made three bolt-on acquisitions, including selected assets owned by Lafarge in Colorado.

It also bought three asphalt plants and two quarries in Mississippi from the Rogers Group.

In France, CRH acquired four outlets from UK-based builders' merchanting firm Wolseley, boosting its footprint in Normandy to 19 locations.

Irish Independent

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