CRH cheers investors as it builds up quarterly sales across Europe

City A.M. Reporter
BUILDING materials group CRH said yesterday that like-for-like sales were up two per cent in the third quarter of the year, while earnings were up three per cent on last year as the decline in Europe bottomed out.

The FTSE 100 firm said sales for the first nine months of the year are now three per cent behind last year.

In Europe, the firm enjoyed “better performance in Poland and Ukraine in more recent months and continuing positive trends in Switzerland”.

The group said the Americas were experiencing strong growth, as builders restarted projects that were stalled by the weather in the first three months of the year.

CRH has also found extra cost savings that will help take €195m (£164.7m) out of the firm’s spending in the full-year, up from its previous target of €125m.

Dublin-based CRH retained its earnings forecasts for the second half of the year, and said it was making progress in a review of the business, which might see non-core assets sold.

“With changing regional growth dynamics in the global economy, management is undertaking a detailed assessment of our portfolio to focus on the businesses which offer the most attractive future returns,” CRH said in a trading update.

Shares in the firm closed up 3.2 per cent at 1,609p. The shares are up 26.5 per cent since the start of the year.

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