CRH reports strong first-half performance

By |  August 24, 2023
In its latest quarterly report on aggregates, the U.S. Geological Survey says aggregate production was up 3 percent in the third quarter. Photo: P&Q Staff

Total sales among CRH Americas Materials Solutions’ business were up 9 percent in the first half of 2023 compared to a year earlier. Photo: P&Q Staff

CRH reports that first-half sales and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) were ahead of the prior-year period, attributing its growth to factors such as “strong pricing offsetting cost inflation, significant contributions from prior-year acquisitions and good underlying demand in key end-use markets.”

“I am pleased to report a strong first-half performance reflecting the continued delivery of our differentiated strategy, further commercial progress across our business and good contributions from acquisitions,” says Albert Manifold, chief executive of CRH. “The strength of our balance sheet together with our relentless focus on disciplined capital allocation will enable us to invest in our future growth and value creation opportunities for our business.”

Performance in the Americas

The company says sales in its Americas Materials Solutions business over the first half of the year ($6.05 billion) were 9 percent above the same mark of a year ago. EBITDA ($925 million) was 13 percent ahead compared to a year earlier, with the company saying “good commercial management offset the impact of higher input costs and lower volumes resulting from unfavorable weather in certain regions.”

CRH expects robust infrastructure demand – driven by significant increases in U.S. and state funding – and good activity in key nonresidential segments will support North American operations throughout the rest of the year.

“Although residential construction activity is expected to remained subdued across many of our markets in the current interest rate environment, the underlying fundamentals are attractive and supportive of robust long-term growth,” CRH says in its interim results release.

Aggregates volumes in the Americas were 2 percent behind the first six months of 2022, according to CRH. The company says volumes decreased in the West and South regions due to unfavorable weather conditions. This was offset by good demand in the Great Lakes and Northeast regions, which benefited from higher levels of infrastructure funding.

CRH says strong commercial management drove aggregates pricing’s 15 percent increase in the first half of 2023.

Performance in Europe

Comparatively, sales among CRH’s Europe Materials Solutions ($4.79 billion) remained in line with the first six months of last year, adding $20 million in sales the first half of this year. EBITDA ($625 million) was 13 percent ahead of a year earlier.

In the area CRH characterizes as “essential materials,” first half sales in Europe were nearly 6 percent ahead of the six months ending June 30, 2022.

“Total sales were ahead of 2022, primarily driven by good pricing progress across all markets,” CRH says. “Activity levels were impacted by unfavorable weather, subdued new-build residential demand amid higher interest rates and ongoing cost inflation.”

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Jack Kopanski

About the Author:

Jack Kopanski is the Managing Editor of Pit & Quarry and Editor-in-Chief of Portable Plants. Kopanski can be reached at 216-706-3756 or jkopanski@northcoastmedia.net.

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