By Carlo Martuscelli
CRH PLC (CRG.DB) said Wednesday that it intends to buy back up to 1 billion euros of shares, and that like-for-like sales fell 2% in the first quarter.
The Irish building company attributed the decline in the quarter ended March 31 to adverse weather. Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization in the first half on a like-for-like basis are expected to be in line with the previous year, it said.
In the second half, Ebitda on a like-for-like basis is expected to come in ahead of the previous-year period, barring adverse weather, CRH said.
Commenting on the buyback, Chief Executive Albert Manifold said that a strong balance sheet and cash-flow generation provided the company with the opportunity to return excess cash to shareholders.
"We remain committed to our progressive dividend policy and our investment-grade rating," he said.