CRH is ahead in America but suffered from adverse weather in Europe

CRH is ahead in America but suffered from adverse weather in Europe
Published: 09 May 2012

Tagged Under: CRH Acquistions 

CRH's underlying sales improved by about 2% during the first four months of the year, with North America benefiting from comparatively favourable weather conditions, while the opposite was a case in Europe, which suffered from a harsh winter, particularly in February. Thirteen acquisitions or major investments were undertaken in the period for a cost of about €230m, compared with €135m spent in the same period last year. 

Heavy building materials volumes were well ahead in the Ukraine, and are recovering in strongly Poland after bad weather in February. Finland is a bit weak on orders to date, while the Dutch market remains soft. Ireland, Spain and Portugal have continued to see declining volumes and are unlikely to see any improvement this year. Swiss and Turkish volumes still have to recover fully from weather-induced lower volumes during the first quarter. Overall underlying volumes were slightly ahead in the four months. In building products, underlying sales were off by 5%, having been off by 8% during the first two months, while distribution sales were down by 6%. 

The milder winter in North America led to an 18% increase in underlying aggregates shipments, while asphalt volumes rose by 16% and ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 13%, but those four months usually represent only some 20% of annual volumes. In building products, underlying sales growth was 12%, with RMI-related activities showing the best performance, while in distribution the comparative advance was 9%.