CRH’s second half development expenditure amounted to €407m, of which €223m was spent in Europe and by a Chinese associate and €184m in the Americas, essentially in the United States. CRH also received approximately €21m from the sale of its Premier Periclase sea-water magnesia business.
The biggest deal in the period was the acquisition of the VVM cement business in Belgium, which cost CRH in the order of €100m and added two grinding centres and two batching plants. In Finland, three batching plants as well as access to 1.6Mt of sand and gravel reserves. In the Ukraine, a 51% stake has been acquired in Cement Limited of Odessa from Teixeira Duarte, which has a grinding station with an annual cement capacity that has recently been increased to 0.55Mt. The clinker will now be provided from CRH’s new dry-process Podilsky works. In addition, €28m were spent on buying a concrete poles business in France and on distribution assets in the Benelux. The Chinese associate Yatai Building materials commissioned a 1.5m tonnes per annum cement mill in Harbin, North China, taking its annual cement capacity in the region to 4.1m tonnes.
The North American heavy building materials spending amounted to €112m and a further €72m were spent on the American building products and services operations, making at total of 184m (US$258m). In total, 254Mt of additional aggregates reserves were added as well as six batching plants and six asphalt operations. plus some associated concrete block and distribution assets. The US$101m (€72m) spent on products and distribution resulted in the addition of two products businesses and an additional 24 distribution branches.