Monday 16 September 2019

CRH warns of 'marked slowdown' in UK

CRH’s Albert Manifold wants Brexit clarity. Photo: Gary O' Neill
CRH’s Albert Manifold wants Brexit clarity. Photo: Gary O' Neill

Michael Cogley

Building materials giant CRH has reported a "marked slowdown" in its UK infrastructure business due to Brexit, chief executive Albert Manifold has said.

Ireland's biggest company said that a "wait-and-see" approach had been implemented by the British exchequer.

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"Obviously, the British government is trying to work out what the long-term finance capability of projects will be. It is effectively taking volume out of our business," he told reporters on Thursday.

"My own sense is probably the current piece of activity for infrastructure is at maintenance level for the UK at this moment in time."

The construction materials CEO also said that CRH had a number of Brexit contingency plans in place, and that he was "well used to adapting our cost base" in changing economies.

He said: "You can take a bold view of it and say that post-Brexit, there will be a significant investment programme across the UK for infrastructure. Or you can take the bear view and think that it will lead to the collapse of the economy. I think it's going to be somewhere in between the two."

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