Irish cement maker Readymix PLC today blamed the sharp fall in first-half profits on tighter trading conditions across all of its markets.
Pretax profit for the six months to June 30 halved to EUR16.34m from EUR32.31m for the same period last year. Revenue remained flat at EUR119m. Readymix reported a positive net cash position of EUR24m as of June 30.
But the company said substantial progress has been made in changing and renewing the group’s internal processes and systems, which will bring in benefits in the second half of the year. Readymix said that benefits will include improved operating efficiencies and higher levels of customer service.
Readymix said the decline in housing sector in the Republic of Ireland impacted its blocks and concrete volumes, and put pricing for these products under pressure. The company said though that an increase on infrastructure spending has helped to maintain a healthy aggregates volume.
In comparison, Readymix reported that volumes in Northern Ireland have been weak and prices have been stable. While in the Isle of Man, significantly lower government spending has impacted on Readymix’s volumes in both concrete and aggregates.
Readymix’s concrete products division had a mixed performance, with lower volumes in the Republic of Ireland and the UK.
The negotiations regarding the sale of the assets in this part of the group continue on a positive track.