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Annual Results

CRH sales up

01 March 2017 09:13

CRH saw continued profits growth in the year to the end of December and announced 2017 year-to-date acquisition and investment spend of approximately €500m and agreement to divest six businesses totalling around €400m.

The group reports sales of €27.1bn for 2016 - 15% up on last time.

CRH said this reflected the inclusion of full year results from the LH Assets and C.R. Laurence, acquisitions which were completed in the third quarter of 2015.

On a proforma basis (at constant currency, including full year 2015 trading of the LH Assets and CRL acquisitions and excluding all divested entities and certain one-off items) sales increased 4% due to the positive backdrop in the group's major markets.

A proforma increase of 5% in the Americas, reflecting favourable early weather with more normalised demand patterns experienced in the second half, was due to the continued positive construction markets supported by low interest rates and increasing employment.

Proforma sales in Europe were 4% ahead of 2015 on the back of continued recovery in some key markets.

CRH said the Asia division reflected results from the Philippines operations acquired in the second half of 2015 as part of the LH Assets, together with CRH Asia's divisional costs.

In the Philippines, proforma sales increased 1% as construction demand continued to be supported by good economic growth, strong domestic consumption and low inflation.

For 2016 as a whole, higher sales and good cost control supported improved profits and margins across the Group with proforma EBITDA in the Americas 15% ahead of 2015, Europe up 3% and Asia in line.

Depreciation and amortisation charges in 2016 amounted to €1.08 billion (2015: €898 million).

In addition, an impairment charge of €23 million was recognised in 2016 in respect of the carrying value of intangible assets.

Divestments and asset disposals during the year generated total profit on disposals of €55 million (2015: €101 million) as the ongoing recycling of capital continues to be embedded in the business.

The Group's €42 million share of profits from equity accounted entities was slightly lower than 2015 reflecting the full year impact of 2015 divestments partly offset by improved results in certain markets.

After net finance costs of €383 million (2015: €389 million), the Group reported profit before tax of €1.74 billion in 2016 (2015: €1,033 million).

Earnings per share for the period were 69% higher than last year at 150.2c (2015: 89.1c).

The board is recommending a final dividend of 46.2c per share (2015: 44.0c).

This would give a total dividend of 65.0c for the year, an increase of 4% over last year (2015: 62.5c).

Separately, CRH said development activity in the first two months of 2017 comprised seven acquisitions spread across each of its four Americas Materials divisions (North, South, Central and West) and also CRH Canada.

In addition, one small investment transaction was completed by our Americas Products Division.

And it said that in line with its continued focus on portfolio management, its Europe Heavyside Division had reached agreement on six divestments to date in 2017 for total proceeds of approximately €400 million.

At 9:13am: (LON:CRH) CRH PLC share price was +102p at 2822p

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