First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
CRH chief executive Albert Manifold
Irish global building materials market giant CRH achieved sales of €26.8 billion in 2018, 6% up on the previous year. The group’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) stood at €3.37 billion, 7% ahead of 2017. Operating profit from continuing operations was also up 4% to €2.177 billion.
Commenting on the full year 2018 trading performance and CRH’s approach to 2019, Albert Manifold, group chief executive, said: “2018 was another year of record profit delivery for CRH. We benefited from good demand and continued favourable market fundamentals in the Americas coupled with positive underlying momentum in Europe. Both were experienced against a backdrop of energy-related input cost inflation and significant weather disruption throughout the year but with a continued focus on performance improvement and operational delivery, margins were ahead of last year. Supported by strong cash generation, we continued to deliver value through efficient capital management, completing €3.6 billion of acquisitions and €3 billion of disposals, while returning €0.8 billion to shareholders in the year through our share buyback programme. CRH remains well positioned to build upon the gains made in 2018. With a relentless focus on continuous business improvement, margin expansion, cash generation and returns for sha
reholders, together with continued strong financial discipline and efficient allocation of capital, we believe 2019 will be a year of progress and further growth for the group.”
CRH says it expects continued growth in U.S. housing construction and gains in non-residential construction. Federal funding for infrastructure in 2019 is expected to increase, while state fiscal conditions continue to improve, with more states introducing additional infrastructure funding methods. In Canada, CRH anticipates the overall market to be ahead in 2019.
A forward-looking group statement released with the 2018 trading figures continued: “The backdrop of Europe is expected to be positive with continued progress in key markets, albeit with regional variations. While Brexit has created a level of uncertainty, against an overall backdrop of increasing demand, particularly in the residential sector, we expect progress in Europe to continue in 2019. In the Philippines, with the benefit of continued economic growth we expect progress in the cement market in 2019.”