The ISEQ’s biggest company CRH has announced an 82 per cent slump in before-tax profits to €108m (compared to €606m last year) for the first six months of the year. Earnings per share fell 84 per cent to 12.2c.
In common with many other companies, CRH said the first quarter of the year was particularly severe, with the rate of decline easing in the second three months.
However, CRH was cautiously optimistic about the rest of the year. CRH boss Myles Lee said: "While overall group profitability in the second half of 2009 will be lower than in 2008, we will benefit from the aggressive cost reduction measures undertaken in 2008 and to date in 2009 and from more moderate second-half energy-related input costs than in 2008."
The company intends to maintain the interim dividend at 18.5c. The board will decide on and announce the 2009 final dividend in March next year.