CRH has delivered a strong overall first half outcome with an improved organic operating profit performance in each of its six business segments. Total first half development activity exceeded euro 0.8 billion. Year to date activity, including the recently announced euro 1 billion APAC transaction, amounts to almost euro 2 billion. Total operating profit from European operations, including acquisition contributions, grew by 19% to euro 330 million. In Europe Materials, operating profit improved by 8% to euro 152 million helped by strong advances in Finland and Poland, modest improvement in Ireland and a similar outcome in Switzerland and Iberia.
Liam O’Mahony, Chief Executive, said: “The current business outlook is on the whole positive despite some statistical evidence of a slower pace of US economic growth. CRH has had a particularly good start to the year; our ongoing focus on the recovery of higher input costs is showing good success and we have delivered record development activity over the past twelve months. While as always risks remain, especially in light of recent international developments, we expect good profit growth in the more significant second half and a healthy advance for 2006 as a whole."