CRH cuts full-year outlook after bad weather slows construction

BUILDING materials group CRH has cut its full-year earnings outlook after results showed a sharp fall in profits since the start of the year.

With first-half earnings down 24 per cent at €397m (£340m), the result was lower than the average analyst's estimate of €410m, but in line with the company's forecast in May.

The company, based in Ireland, cited the prolonged winter as the primary reason for the falling earnings and expects the second half of the year – which is historically more profitable – to be in line with 2012.

Although the firm expects more challenging trade conditions in Europe over the coming months, chief operating officer Albert Manifold remains optimistic and has been encouraged by recent growth in private construction in the United States.

“I do think there’s room to be positive going forward,” said Manifold, who takes over as chief executive from Myles Lee at the end of the year. “We’re seeing growth in the US and hopefully we’ll see a stabilisation in Europe in the next six to 12 months.”

CRH, which splits its revenue between Europe and the US, said that activity remained weak in the former despite more positive recent economic data, while privately-funded construction is showing signs of life in the US.

Shares in CRH fell 2.24 per cent to 1,394p yesterday.

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