CRH sees earnings rise despite reduced levels of activity

Albert Manifold

Ellie Donnelly

Building materials giant CRH reported a rise in earning last year, despite lower levels of activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Albert Manifold-headed company reported earnings of $4.6bn (€3.8bn) in 2020, a 5pc increase on the prior year, according to annual results.

The performance was driven by a strong focus on costs and actions taken to mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic, the company said.

Sales revenue for the year fell by 2pc to $27.6bn (€22.8bn).

In its Americas Materials division, the company experienced good price progression, focused cost control, lower energy costs and operational efficiencies, and delivered like-for-like earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) growth that was 10pc ahead of 2019.

Like-for-like EBITDA was 7pc behind 2019 in its Europe Materials arm, mainly reflecting the “significant impact” of Covid-19 restrictions in a number of countries across Western Europe, which was only partly offset by price progress and cost control, CRH said.

Albert Manifold, chief executive of CRH, said: "Through the repositioning of our business in recent years and our relentless focus on continuous business improvement, we have delivered record levels of profitability, margins and cash generation.”

“Although the near-term outlook remains uncertain, our unique portfolio of businesses together with the strength of our balance sheet leaves us well positioned to capitalise on the growth opportunities that lie ahead."

CRH’s operating cash flow increased 1pc to $3.9bn.

Looking forward, the company said market recovery is expected to continue across North America and Europe as the health situation improves.

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