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CRH 'unclear' on construction recovery

Building materials group CRH has raised a savings target and said it’s "unclear" when there will be a sustained recovery in construction demand in developed nations.

While the rate of profit decline eased in the second half of 2009, business levels remain difficult and the timing of any sustained pick-up in mature markets is uncertain, the company said today in a Regulatory News Service statement.

CRH, which has eliminated about a quarter of its workforce in the past two years, expects total savings of about €1.65bn in the three years through 2010, up from a previous target of €1.45bn.

Pretax profit before asset impairment charges probably fell to about €750m in 2009, from €1.63bn, meeting the company’s previous forecast, it said.

“Management remains focused on ongoing cost reduction and operational initiatives which will benefit our performance in 2010,” the company said in the statement. CRH remains “well positioned” on its debt facilities, it said.