Belfast Telegraph

Northstone parent company claims it will be building on success

By John Mulligan

Building materials giant CRH, parent company of Northstone in Dunmurry, said it expects the European market to improve during the second half of the year.

Ireland's biggest company said quantitative easing and low interest rates, coupled with improving consumer sentiment, would spur its business.

The firm also said it has sold close to €1bn (£0.74bn) worth of assets since last year - over €540m (£402m) of them since the start of 2015.

That's part of a wider plan to dispose of assets that are no longer delivering the kind of returns demanded by the company.

CRH said it expected to close a deal to buy €6.5bn (£4.8bn) worth of assets from Holcim and Lafarge by the middle of the year.

That transaction will extend CRH's footprint into territories such as the Philippines. The company, headed by chief executive Albert Manifold, released a trading update in advance its AGM in Dublin today. It said that trading in the first four months of the year was in line with expectations. Group sales in the period rose 2.5%.

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