CRH warns on profits

Published:  11 November, 2009

DUBLIN: Irish building materials giant CRH's share price fell 2.5% yesterday after the group warned it is facing sharp falls in earnings and profits this year.

CRH is the world's second-biggest maker and distributor of building materials and forecast profits this year will slide by as much as 55%.

The news came as the group announced the purchase of asphalt producer, Hilty Quarries, for an undisclosed amount.

CRH has spent €50m on acquisitions since the end of June and €280m in the first half of the year.

The company said in a statement yesterday that poor weather, cost cutting and a foreign exchange hit would leave 2009 profit before tax at between €730m and €760m, less than half the €1.6b recorded last year.

CRH manufactures, supplies and distributes construction materials across Europe and the US with revenue and businesses split equally between the regions.

CRH said trading conditions remain extremely difficult, with a like-for-like decline in third quarter sales of 19% reflecting a modest improvement on the 21% fall recorded for the first half of the year.

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