CRH saw its sales revenue for 1H2013 fall by three per cent, or six per cent on a like-for-like basis, from EUR8.271bn to EUR8.007bn.
EBITDA reached EUR0.4bn, representing an 18 per cent YoY drop when excluding pension and CO2 gains. However, when including these figures, EBITDA lost more ground, decreasing from EUR523m to EUR397m and in line with its forecast. While May-June trading in Europe lagged expectations, and the company’s Materials operations in the Americas continued to be impacted by unseasonal weather, the Americas Products & Distribution division performed better than expected.
The company is continuing its focus on working capital management and capital expenditure. In addition, it has made incremental cost savings of EUR111m in 2013, accelerating initiatives in Europe as markets have remained weak.
In terms of acquisitions and investments, the company has amassed EUR470m of assets, bring the 12-month total to EUR800,000m. It also divested to the tune of EUR202m.
“Six transactions were completed by our Europe operations, including the acquisition of Cementos Lemona in Spain as part of the asset swap in which we divested our 26 per cent stake in Corporacion Uniland. Two other transactions by Europe Materials strengthened our aggregates position in Northern Ireland and expanded our network of cement import facilities in Britain. In Europe Products, an acquisition in Belgium established the Group as market leader in prestressed, hollowcore floors while two acquisitions in the Distribution segment added nine branches to our network of builders merchants across the Benelux,” said the company in its interim report.
In the Americas, acquisitions included the Materials Division, which completed seven bolt-on transactions across its operations, adding 435Mt of strategically-located aggregates reserves, primarily in the eastern United States.
Looking ahead, Myles Lee, CRH’s CEO said: “Although recent economic indicators suggest that the eurozone may be emerging from recession, overall construction activity remains weak and we expect challenging trading conditions in Europe for the remainder of 2013. In the United States, economic growth is estimated to have strengthened over recent quarters and we expect second half EBITDA to be ahead of last year. Overall for CRH, we expect EBITDA for the second half of the year to be in line with last year (restated 2012: €1.04 billion). The Group continues to focus on cost management, operational excellence, value-adding acquisitions and strong cash generation, and is well-positioned to progress as markets recover.”