CRH soars 4% despite announcing losses

Chief executive Albert Manifold said 2013 was a ‘trough year’ in terms of profits

CRH chief executive  Albert Manifold said 2013 was a “trough year” for the building materials giant in terms of profits. Photo: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

CRH chief executive Albert Manifold said 2013 was a “trough year” for the building materials giant in terms of profits. Photo: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Tue, Feb 25, 2014, 15:38

Building materials group CRH has reported flat revenues for 2013, saying severe and prolonged weather conditions in the first half of the year delayed the start of the construction season.

Revenues of €18 billion were broadly flat year-on-year but were 2 per cent lower on a like-for-like basis.

Operating profit fell significantly to €100 million reflecting the 6 per cent decline in EBITDA and a noncash impairment charge of €650 million taken in respect of subsidiary companies due principally to the comprehensive portfolio review.

The company posted a pre-tax loss of €215 million for the year to the end of December compared to a pre-tax profit of €646 million in 2012, and cost savings of €195 million were delivered in line with November guidance.

Company chief executive Albert Manifold said 2013 was the “trough year” in terms of profits, adding he expects 2014 to be a year of profit growth.

“We are encouraged by second-half activity levels in 2013 and by the fact that, while it is still early in the season, trading so far in 2014 has been ahead of last year.”

Net debt at €2.97 billion was better than expected due to strong cash generation in the second half.

The group spent €720 million on acquisitions and investments last year.