CRH releases trading update

CRH releases trading update
22 April 2020

CRH has released a trading update for the 1Q20, reporting a three per cent increase in like-for-like sales.

In North America the company’s operations in Pennsylvania, New York City and Washington state have been the most impacted to-date by the COVID-19 pandemic, while its operations in the southeast, central and western US have been less affected, according to the update. Significantly lower activity levels have also been noted in Ontario and Quebec, as a result of government restrictions on construction.

Elsewhere, with the exception of certain essential activities which are permitted to continue, its operations in western Europe have been significantly impacted. However, central and eastern Europe has seen less of an impact due to the absence of nationwide restrictions on construction activity. 

In the Philippines, government restrictions implemented during March have resulted in the company reporting lower volumes and activity levels.

Trading performance
Overall sales for CRH’s Americas Materials segment rose eight per cent LfL in the first quarter of 2020. Cement volumes were up four per cent and prices increased six per cent. Ready-mix volumes also advanced six per cent LfL and prices climbed five per cent on average.

Europe Materials’ eastern Europe region noted an increase in sales due to higher cement volumes and improved pricing, while western Europe saw continued pricing progress offset by lower volumes caused by lockdowns in key markets.

"We have had a good start to the year, and although the global spread of COVID-19 brings challenges for us all, I have no doubt that with the financial strength of CRH and the experience of our leadership teams, we will endure through these unprecedented and uncertain times. All necessary actions are being taken to protect our employees and businesses, and to ensure that we are well positioned for the recovery in our markets," said Albert Manifold, CEO.

Mitigating actions
CRH has also announced several strategies to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus on its business. This includes the suspension of all non-essential and discretionary expenditure, restricting capex to essential maintenance and consolidating operating locations. A group-wide recruitment freeze is also in place alongside temporary lay-offs and furlough arrangements in low demand regions. A 25 per cent salary reduction has also been implemented for all leadership teams and board members.  

Published under Cement News