Strong CRH profit growth in Europe

Strong CRH profit growth in Europe
Published: 29 August 2007

CRH’s first half turnover rose by 20.8% to EUR9698m and the EBITDA increased by 23.4% to EUR1141m, while at the trading level there was a 25.8% advance to EUR771m. The net attributable profit advanced by 25.6% to EUR506m. 

Capital expenditure in the period was 22.1% higher at EUR520m, with net debt at the end of June standing at EUR5,826m to give a gearing level of 77.9%.  The European turnover increased by 22.5% to EUR5071m and the trading profit jumped by 50.0% to EUR495m, while the Americas contributed a turnover 19.0% higher at EUR4627m but the trading profit declined by 2.5% to EUR276m.
 
In Ireland, lower housebuilding activity was more than offset by increased civil engineering and commercial and industrial building and turnover rose by 21.7% to EUR695m, while the EBITDA advanced more modestly by around 3% to EUR97m.   The Benelux, which is dominated by building products and distribution, increased turnover by 13.8% to EUR1,444m and EBITDA by 18.0% to EUR177m.  In the rest of Europe, the strongest growth was seen in Poland and in the Ukraine, where cement shipments rose by around 40% and just over 20% respectively, with Finland and the rest of the Baltic area also benefiting from strong demand and a mild winter.  Swiss cement deliveries also improved, but Portuguese volumes were lower, as were ready-mixed concrete deliveries in Spain.  Turnover rose by 27.9% to EUR2,933m and EBITDA jumped by 65.1% to EUR393m, thanks to a large extent to the higher volumes in north-eastern Europe.