CRH trims earnings forecast and plans €450m in cost cuts

BUILDING materials group CRH yesterday warned that weak European markets and the impact of Hurricane Sandy on its operations led it to trim its full-year earnings forecast for 2012.

The superstorm, which hit the East Coast of the US several weeks ago, has caused “significant disruption” to the materials operations in the area, while ongoing weakness in major European markets – which saw sales in the first half of the year fall five per cent – would also contribute to lower earnings.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation are expected to come in at €1.6bn (£1.28bn), down from €1.65bn in 2011.

The Dublin-based firm added that it would further squeeze costs out of the business, identifying €450m worth of savings over the next three years.

Meanwhile, like-for-like group sales declined by three per cent over the quarter and by one per cent for the nine months to September.