New government measures to make up to 25 per cent of all cement used in public projects more environment-friendly could deliver a €10m blow to CRH. Draft proposals, which aim to push annual CO2 emissions down by about 300,000t, are currently under consideration by environment minister Martin Cullen. When in place, they would force the cement producer to convert some of its plants to produce so-called “eco-cement” or alternatively, purchase it from third sources. However, profit margins for this type of cement are much lower, ie €16/t versus €50/t for traditional cement. In view of this, leading industry watchers believe it could hit the group’s bottom line by around one per cent. Operating profits for 2003 are expected to be in line with the €1.048bn figure of 2002.