CRH reports sales of EUR13.2bn in 1H19

CRH reports sales of EUR13.2bn in 1H19
22 August 2019

CRH reported that group sales in 1H19 amounted to EUR13.2bn, up 11 per cent when compared with 1H18. EBITDA was 36 per cent ahead of 1H18 and the EBITDA margin rose by 11.7 per cent. Profit before tax was EUR707m for the 1H19.

The 1H19 benefitted from increased demand in Europe and North America and from currency exchange movements. Americas Materials' like-for-like (LfL) sales were two per cent higher in 1H19 than in 1H18 despite adverse weather conditions. Europe Materials saw a six per cent rise on LfL sales growth, but UK sales declined amidst Brexit-related uncertainty.

Cement operations in the USA delivered higher volumes in 1H19 due to the acquisition of Ash Grove Cement which was completed at the end of June 2018. Cement volumes in Canada declined reflecting adverse weather and project delays and the timing of a divestment in 2018. Meanwhile, cement volumes and prices were ahead in Brazil.

The UK suffered lower commercial, housing and retail construction activity and although cement volumes were broadly inline with 1H18, aggregate and asphalt volumes fell. Western Europe saw strong residential construction in Ireland and higher non-residential demand in France with good cement and ready-mixed volumes. In Benelux sales were inline with 1H18 despite project delays and poor weather. Denmark had strong price movements, while cement volumes in Finland were impacted by the completion of a one-off project in early 2019, price increases in aggregates and cement drove sales improvements.

Strong cement volumes in Poland were offset by lower ready-mixed concrete volumes caused by the timing of infrastructure projects. In Ukraine cement volumes were in line with 1H18 and price increases offset cost inflation. In Romania cement volumes were marginally ahead although 2Q19 volumes were impacted by heavy rainfall. Cement sales increased in Hungary and Slovakia in 1H19 after continued construction growth, while cement operations in Serbia recorded improved volumes and price growth.

In Asia cement and ready-mix demand in the Philippines grew marginally due to residential and non-residential markets, but it saw a slowdown in infrastructure with delays to government projects. Cement prices were ahead on 1H18. In China Yatai Building Materials reported higher cement volumes and higher operating profits than in 1H18, while My Home Industries Ltd in India benefitted from higher cement volumes and prices in 1H19.

"On the back of our strategic initiatives, CRH has delivered significant profit growth in the 1H19, with a good performance in our heritage business and strong conditions from recent acquisitions. We are pleased to report that the Board plans to continue our share buyback programme with a further tranche of EUR350m to be completed by year end. This will being our total share purchases in 2019 to EUR900m. With our continued strong cash generation and financial discipline, we expect year-end debt metrics to be below normalised levels. We anticipate further progress in the second half of the year with the benefits from positive underlying momentum in all divisions as well as good contributions from acquisitions," said Albert Manifold, CRH's CEO.

Published under Cement News

Tagged Under: CRH business results 1H19