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CRH sees decline slowing

Building materials group CRH, owner of Ibstock Brick, says that trading conditions in Europe and the US are still difficult, but it says the pace of decline is slowing.
According to it’s latest trading update, there was a like-for-like decline in third quarter group sales of 19%, but that was a better performance than the 21% fall seen in the first half of the year.

It said that group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the third quarter of 2009 fell by about 25% compared with a reported 41% decline for the first half of the year.

However, poor weather and cost cuts are likely to mean full-year profits are down by more than 50%. It expects pre-tax profits for the year to December of between €730m and €760m.

CRH said that it has spent €320m so far this year on acquisitions and investments and that it remains very well positioned to take advantage of further ‘appropriate’ development prospects.

The company said it is expecting full year earnings in its Europe Materials division to be about 45% lower than the €806m reported last year.

Full year earnings at its Europe Products division is set to be about 30% lower than the figure of €392m reported in 2008 as trading conditions remain difficult in most parts of the market.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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