CRH profits fall 30% as Covid-19 hits construction sector

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Profits at Irish building materials group CRH fell by 28% to $518 million (€438 million) in the first half of this year as Covid-19 shut down construction sites.

The company, which has businesses in Europe and the Americas, reported a fall in revenues of 5 per cent to $12.2 billion in the first half of 2020, from $12.9 billion during the same period last year. However, despite the fall in profits and revenues, analysts said they were “well ahead of estimates”.

The company said it expects sales in the three months ending September 30th to be slightly behind the same period last year. In its statement, the compay said that while “there is limited visibility for the fourth quarter of the year”, it still believed the longer-term prospects for CRH remain positive, “benefiting from significant financial strength and resilience together with a portfolio of high-quality assets in attractive markets”. That message was echoed by Albert Manifold, CRH chief executive, who said the outlook “is dependent on an improving health situation across our markets”.

In a note issued after the publication of the results, Davy analysts described the results were well ahead of estimates and said: “That CRH can achieve this in the face of a global pandemic is even more impressive.”

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