Building firm CRH reports 25% rise in operating profit

Building firm CRH reports 25% rise in operating profit

Building materials group CRH has reported a rise in operating profit of 25% to €871m, while profits before tax rose by 33% to €711m. Revenues climbed by 5% to €18.081 billion.

In its results statement this morning, the company says that problems in the banking sector are contributing to the current uncertainty for growth outlook for Europe in 2012.

CRH’s chief executive Myles Lee says the market in the US has been tough for some years, but a continuing flow of improving economic news is coming from there during the last few months. He says the company has significant acquisition capability, not just for deals in the US but also in Europe and developing countries. He says key areas for CRH this year will be Poland and Ukraine, where one of the company’s big initiatives is a major new cement plant. He also says that CRH managed to double its profits in its Chinese operations, while it also made good progress in India.

CRH moved its main listing from Dublin to London last year and Mr Lee says that the move is a long term strategy to get the company more exposure. He says the move made sense as over the years the bulk of the company’s trading had moved from Dublin to London. He says investors like the option of being able to trade in both euro and sterling and added that CRH will remain headquartered in Ireland.

On Ireland, Mr Lee predicts another tough year in the construction sector and said that the Irish operations now account for just 2% of the group total.

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