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CRH releases trading update

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World Cement,

CRH plc, the global building materials group, has issued a trading update for the period 1 January 2018 to 30 September 2018.

Key Highlights

  • Nine-month EBITDA €2.5 billion, 8% ahead of 2017; 2% ahead on a like-for-like basis

  • Continued underlying growth in the Americas, despite adverse weather conditions in certain markets. Momentum remained positive in Europe, while demand improved in Asia.

  • Another year of progress; 2018 EBITDA expected to be approximately €3.35 billion

  • Full-year EBITDA is expected to be approximately €3.35 billion (2017 reported: €3.15 billion). The company expects favourable market fundamentals to continue across its key markets.

  • Next phase of €1 billion share buyback announced; €700 million completed to date

  • As part of the 12 month €1 billion share buyback programme announced on 25 April 2018, the Group has, to date, returned €700 million to shareholders through the repurchase of 23.8 million shares across two phases. The Group remains committed to the programme and today announced the next phase.

  • Continued focus on strong financial discipline; debt metrics maintained

  • Year-end net debt is expected to be approximately €7 billion, resulting in net debt to EBITDA of circa 2.1x, based on a forecast year-end US dollar/euro exchange rate of 1.14 and including development and buyback activity to date.

  • Aggressive growth plan in place to 2021; ~€100m of structural cost savings identified

  • The Group’s plan to deliver 300bps of EBITDA margin improvement and €7 billion of financial capacity by 2021 is progressing as planned and it expects to see early signs of delivery in 2019. As part of this growth plan, the Group has identified approximately €100 million of structural cost savings, primarily in the areas of overhead reductions, back office rationalisation and the consolidation of certain regional support functions into central and more coordinated hubs.

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