CRH sees EBITDA rise 2% in the 1H20

CRH sees EBITDA rise 2% in the 1H20
21 August 2020

CRH has released its unaudited results for the first half of 2020, showing a 4.9 per cent YoY decline in revenue to US$12.2bn from US$12.85bn in the 1H19. However, EBITDA edged up two per cent on a like-for-like (LfL) basis to US$1.59bn.

Profit before tax for the 1H20 reached US$518m against US$717m last year, primarily reflecting a lower profit on divestments.

"As a Group we took swift and comprehensive action in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and our ability to flex our cost base and deliver improved profitability, margins and cash generation in a rapidly evolving environment demonstrates the strength and resilience of our business. The outlook for the rest of the year and into 2021 remains uncertain and is dependent on an improving health situation across our markets," said Albert Manifold, CEO.

Americas Materials
Sales revenue for its Americas Materials segment declined one per cent LfL to US$4.48bn for the first half of 2020, while EBITDA surged 18 per cent to US$667m.

The impact of COVID-19 related shutdowns in its northern region was partly offset by strong demand in the western region, which experienced more favourable weather conditions than the prior year and improved pricing.

Cement sales volumes in the US were four per cent ahead of the 1H19 on a LfL basis. However, operations in Canada were impacted by COVID-19 lockdown measures and resulted in volumes being behind 2019. Meanwhile, the demand for cement in Brazil remained resilient in the 1H20 and volumes and prices were ahead of the same period of 2019.

Europe Materials
Despite a strong start to the year, Europe Materials saw LfL sales and LfL operating profit fall 11 per cent and 59 per cent in the 1H20, respectively, reflecting the impact of site closures from mid-March to late-May, according to a statement.

The UK, Ireland, France and the Philippines, were particularly affected. However, Germany, Switzerland, the Benelux and most of Eastern Europe were less impacted as construction activity continued and in certain cases was boosted by government projects and increased local demand.

Based on recent trading trends, the company expects LfL sales in the third quarter to be slightly behind the same period in 2019. Overall EBITDA for the third quarter is expected to be in line with the 3Q19, said CRH.

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