CRH: Results today

Published 02 September 2003

CRH announces H1 results later today (Tuesday 2nd
September). Merrill Lynch expects sales to fall four per cent
(acquisitions offsetting some of the currency negative) and EBITA to fall 17 per cent to EUR244m.

Merrill Lynch expects CRH sales to fall four per cent
(acquisitions offsetting some of the currency negative) and EBITA to fall 17 per cent to EUR244m. (EUR295mn), with sales penalised by poor North American/North Europe weather.

CRH's recent Cementbouw deal scores well however: dispelling
analysts fears that CRH might under-achieve on acquisition spend, at a good price with low risks and more to come, it seems.  Consolidating existing positions, at a cheap, value adding price, generating growth from underlying rather mature markets at low management risk, and finally in Europe rather than the more familiar hunting ground of the USA, all good points ­ notes Merrill. However, expanding in DIY retailing does raise questions ­ will CRH¹s retailing skills begin to be questioned, or its willingness/ability to compete in a consolidating pan-European market?

External risks to CRH are weaker dollar, higher oil costs and weaker economic growth (especially impacting budgets and public spending) concludes Merrill.