CRH PLC posted a higher pretax profit and said the outlook for Europe materials in 2008 is good.
The Dublin-based cement and aggregates company said its pretax profit for the year ended Dec 31 rose 19 per cent to EUR1.9bn from EUR1.6bn while revenues grew 12 per cent to EUR20.99bn from EUR18.74bn.
The company lifted its final dividend to 48 cents from 38.5 cents, thus raising its total dividend to 68 cents from 52 cents last year.
It added its organic growth is unlikely to be as strong as an outstanding 2007, due to expected declines from high levels in Irish and Spanish construction.
Also, CRH sees an increase in US dollar operating profit from its American operations in 2008.
The acquisitive group, which last year spent EUR2.2bn on a range of acquisitions largely focused on its twin markets of North America and Europe, said in January that it expected pretax profits for 2007 to be around EUR1.9bn, while a higher dividend is also in prospect as the group gradually reduces its dividend cover.