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CRH’s Canadian cement volumes slip slightly in 1H17

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World Cement,

CRH Canada reported a fall in cement volumes in 1H17, as poor weather impacted demand in Ontario and Quebec. This was only partially offset by increased in the US markets served by the company.

CRH Canada operates three cement plants: two in Canada – the Mississauga plant in Ontario and Joliette plant in Quebec – and the Trident plant in Montana in the US. It also operates a network of 17 terminals with locations in Minnesota, Michigan, New York, and Ohio in the US, as well as Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia in Canada.

Cement volumes fell by 1% in 1H17, although pricing improved, despite some pressure in the Canadian regions.

“Overall, sales were behind 2016 due to a slow start to the construction season, which was also impacted by poor weather and the completion of some major projects in 2016, mainly in the Quebec region,” CRH said in its interim results statement.

Operating profit on an organic basis was also behind last year with performance in its cement business declining due to higher maintenance costs. There were also lower margins in the company’s ready-mixed concrete operations, although improvement was seen in the aggregates business.

Elsewhere in the Americas, CRH reported a fall in cement consumption in Brazil, on the back of poor macroeconomic conditions and a volatile political environment. Cement consumption was down 7% compared to 1H16, while selling prices were negatively impacted by very competitive market conditions.

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