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CRH profits soar 69% in 2016

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World Cement,

CRH announced a 69% jump in pre-tax profits in 2016 as the company benefitted from positive markets for its products in the Americas, and Northern and Eastern Europe. Profits hit €1.74 billion for the year, compared to €1.03 billion in 2015.

“2016 was a year of significant profit growth for CRH with margins and returns ahead of last year in every division,” said CEO, Albert Manifold. “In addition to organic growth, we continue to develop CRH through acquisitions, having completed eight transactions already this year.”

On the cement side, the company reported an increase in North American cement sales as falls in western Canada were offset by increases in Quebec and the US market. Operating profit for the Americas Materials business – which also includes aggregates, asphalt and ready-mixed concrete sales – were up 32% at €818 million, following the integration of LH Assets.

In Europe, cement sales volumes were positive in Ireland, France, Germany, Ukraine and Serbia – although pricing was under pressure in many European markets. More challenging conditions were felt in Switzerland and Poland.

Overall, the European Heavyside business, which includes cement operations, saw a 194% increase in operating profits to €397 million – again following the integration of LH Assets.

Looking ahead, the company continues to see positive momentum in the US construction sector, expecting growth in the residential construction sector, and improvement in the non-residential sector. Funding under the 2015 FAST Act will support infrastructure spending, will also have a positive impact on the company’s business.

More risks appear in the European market, following the UK’s vote to leave the EU last year. However, CRH expects most countries to “continue to experience the modest impact of early-stage economic recovery,” in 2017, leading to continued business growth.

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