CRH has reported its interim earnings for the 1H13 period. At €8.007 billion, sales were down 3% y/y over the six months from January to June, or -6% on a like-for-like basis. The company reports that this reflects a fall of 7% over the January – April period, moderating to a 3% decline in the last two months of the first half. EBITDA was down 18% y/y (excluding pension/CO2 gains) at €392 million.
CRH has achieved cost savings of €111 million and continues to focus on operational efficiency, working capital management and capital expenditure. Thus far this year, the company has spent €470 million on acquisitions/investments – including its recent Indian acquisition, reported last week. Over the past 12 months, spending on acquisitions/investments totals €0.8 billion. CRH has gained €202 million profit from disposals, down y/y as 2012 profit on disposals included gains from disposal of the stake in Portuguese JV Secil Cement and of Magnetic Autocontrol in Germany.
Myles Lee, CRH Chief Executive, commented that overall construction activity in the Eurozone remains weak and that challenging conditions are anticipated in the region for the remainder of the year. In the US, however, the outlook is more optimistic. Lee expects second half EBITDA in the US to be above that of 2H12.
“Overall for CRH, we expect EBITDA for the second half of the year to be in line with last year (restated 2012: €1.04 billion). The Group continues to focus on cost management, operational excellence, value-adding acquisitions and strong cash generation, and is well-positioned to progress as markets recover,” he said.
Adapted from press release by Katherine Guenioui.
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