Business Irish

Tuesday 17 September 2019

CRH boss Manifold sells €3m of shares in group

Sale: CRH chief executive Albert Manifold has sold almost €6m worth of shares in the group this year
Sale: CRH chief executive Albert Manifold has sold almost €6m worth of shares in the group this year
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

CRH boss Albert Manifold has sold almost €3m worth of shares in the building materials giant, according to stock exchange filings for the group.

It brings his total CRH share sales so far this year to almost €6m. Less than six months ago, Mr Manifold sold €2.8m of shares in the company.

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The chief executive also has seen a significant number of shares vest this year. In March, €4.4m worth of CRH shares awarded under the group's 2014 performance plan vested. They were awarded at no cost to Mr Manifold.

In May, an additional 186,000 shares worth €5.4m were granted to Mr Manifold under CRH's 2014 performance share plan.

Meanwhile, a stock exchange filing yesterday showed that CRH non-executive director Richie Boucher has bought almost €200,000 worth of shares in the group.

Mr Boucher, the former chief executive of Bank of Ireland, joined the CRH board last year.

Last week CRH announced it would buy back up to €350m of its own shares between this month and the beginning of January. This would bring the company's total share buybacks to €900m over a 12-month period.

Shares in CRH have risen from about €21 near the end of last year to their current level of €29. It has a market capitalisation of €23.5bn, making it Ireland's biggest company.

When releasing interim results last week, CRH said its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 36pc to €1.54bn in the six months to the end of June. Revenue was 11pc higher at €13.2bn.

CRH said trading in the first six months of the year benefited from positive underlying demand in Europe and North America. Its revenue for the period was boosted by acquisitions and tailwinds from favourable currency exchange movements.

While markets in continental Europe and North America were positive, CRH noted that construction activity in the UK continued to decline because of Brexit-related uncertainties.

In the first half of the year, CRH sold its European shutters and awnings business to France's Stella Group for more than €300m.

In July, CRH announced that it had also agreed to sell its European distribution business to US investment giant Blackstone for €1.64bn.

The European distribution business included CRH's general builders merchants operations in Europe as well as its sanitary heating and plumbing business in six western European countries.

Irish Independent

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