CRH - September 2019

In the first six months of 2019, CRH reported an 11 per cent YoY uptick in sales revenue to EUR13,217m EBITDA over the same period expanded by 36 per cent to EUR1540m (19 per cent ahead excluding IFRS 16 leases), with the EBITDA margin advancing from 9.5 per cent in the 1H18 to 11.7 per cent in the 1H19. Trading for the six-month period benefitted from a positive underlying demand backdrop in both Europe and North America, according to the company.

In Americas Materials, like-for-like (LfL) sales were two per cent ahead YoY although adverse weather in some regions did hamper activity. In Europe Materials, good underlying activity prevailed in key markets across Western and Eastern Europe with LfL sales up six per cent and price progress seen across all product lines. However, construction activity in the UK continued to decline amidst Brexit-related uncertainty. LfL sales in the Building Products division were three per cent ahead of the 1H18, with positive demand and pricing in all the main markets.

“On the back of our strategic initiatives, CRH has delivered significant profit growth in the first half of 2019, with a good performance in our heritage business and strong contributions from recent acquisitions,” said Albert Manifold, chief executive, CRH. In the opening half of this year, the group spent around Eur320m on 28 acquisition and investment transactions, including eight bolt-on acquisitions in the Building Products division and 14 bolt-on acquisitions in the Americas Materials business.

Looking ahead, the group expects the second half of 2019 to see an improved EBITDA in the Americas Materials business, on the back of positive momentum in the North American construction markets, similar trends to the 1H19 in Europe Materials, and further EBITDA growth in Building Products.