Aug. 23, 2018, 3:46 a.m. EDT

CRH 6-month profit rises despite weather woes

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By Maryam Cockar

CRH PLC (CRG.DB) said Thursday that pretax profit increased 4.6% in the first half of 2018, despite significant weather disruption in Europe and North America in the first quarter.

Chief Executive Albert Manifold said construction markets continued to recover in the first half of the year and pricing gathered momentum in key European markets, while there was solid volume and price growth against a positive economic backdrop in the Americas.

For the six months ended June 30, the Irish building materials company made a profit of 497 million euros ($574.8 million) compared with EUR475 million in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue increased to EUR11.94 billion from EUR11.85 billion. Total like-for-like sales rose 2% in the period with Europe like-for-like sales up 1%, the Americas up 3%, but Asia down 2%.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to EUR1.13 billion from EUR1.12 billion. Like-for-like Ebitda was ahead 1%.

FTSE 100-listed CRH raised the interim dividend to 19.6 euro cents a share from 19.2 cents.

CRH said that for Europe, it expect momentum experienced in the first half of the year to improve and Ebitda for the second half to be ahead of 2017, amid an inflationary cost environment. In the Americas, CRH said that with an anticipated improvement in housing, non-residential construction and infrastructure, it expects Ebitda to show further growth.

However, the company continues to expect that challenging market conditions in the Philippines will continue in the second half and that Ebitda for Asia will remain at a similar level to the first half of the year.

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