CRH reports a shortfall in earnings for half-year

By Maurice Garvey 

IRELAND’S biggest company CRH has reported a slight fall in earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) for the first half of this year.

Ebitda was €1.33bn for the six months to June 30, down from €1.36bn in the same period last year, according to interim results from the group.

CRH 1 min

The company incurred one-off costs of €54.5m, mainly due to Covid-19-related restructuring items.

However, on a like-for-like basis, earnings increased two per cent year on year, while CRH’s ebitda margin increased 70 basis points to 13 per cent.

Like-for-like sales revenue was down three per cent to €10.2bn on the back of “significant disruption” in the months of April, May and June due to Covid-19.

Albert Manifold, chief executive of CRH, said: “Our first-half performance is testament to the hard work and dedication of all our people during a very challenging and uncertain period.

“The outlook for the rest of the year and into 2021 remains uncertain and is dependent on an improving health situation across our markets.”

CRH said that solid price progression, good cost control and lower energy costs resulted in like-for-like ebidta in its Americas materials division increasing by 20 per cent.

However, in Europe ebitda fell by 28 per cent compared to last year, largely due to the “significant” impact of Covid-19 restrictions in the UK and other Western European markets.

Looking forward, CRH said the near-term outlook for economic and construction activity across its markets remains uncertain.

The company expects like-for-like sales in the third quarter to be slightly behind the same period in 2019, and will slow its normal pace of deal-making as it copes with the uncertain fallout of Covid-19 on its main markets;

Overall ebitda for the third quarter is expected to be in line with the same period last year.

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