Wednesday 12 December 2018

Earnings at Ireland’s biggest company CRH pass €3bn mark

CRH boss Albert Manifold. Photo: Bloomberg
CRH boss Albert Manifold. Photo: Bloomberg
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

CRH, Ireland’s biggest company, recorded earnings of €3.3bn in 2017, a 3pc increase on the same period in 2016 on a like-for-like basis.

The strong performance was driven by increases in underlying demand in the Americas, and continued positive momentum in Europe.

Sales of €27.6bn for the period were 2pc ahead of 2016 on a like-for-like basis, reflecting different dynamics in each of the group's regions and divisions, the company said in its financial statement today.

"With a balanced portfolio of businesses CRH is well positioned to capitalise on ongoing economic recovery and our focus remains on consolidating and building upon the gains made in 2017," Albert Manifold, CEO of CRH, said.

"Against this backdrop, we believe that 2018 will be a year of continued growth for the group."

In the US the company benefited from the continuation of stable market fundamentals and good underlying demand, with the group recording an organic sales increase of 3pc in its Americas materials division, which was supported by continued growth in the residential and non-residential sectors.

Meanwhile in its European market, total sales increased 1pc during the year, compared with the same period in 2016, while organic sales increased by 2pc year-on-year, due to what the company said was “continued recovery in key markets”.

The group’s Heavyside's out turn (which includes cement and readymixed concrete) in Europe was positive, with a broad-based recovery in Ireland, France, Poland and Finland more than offsetting more subdued activity in Switzerland and the UK.

While CRH’s Lightside out turn (that is concrete, clay, and building products) experienced a year of further progress, as good performances in a number of its main markets resulted in sales finishing 3pc ahead of 2016.

Divestments and asset disposals during the year generated total profit on disposals of €59m for the group, while it engaged in over 27 acquisitions or investment transactions.

Depreciation and amortisation charges in 2017 were €1.07bn, down slightly on the €1.08bn recorded in 2016, and there were no impairment charges recognised in the year.

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