Belfast Telegraph

Irish building giant reassures over presence in Britain

CRH is benefiting from underlying growth in the Americas and solid momentum in Europe (stock photo)
CRH is benefiting from underlying growth in the Americas and solid momentum in Europe (stock photo)

By Donal O'Donovan

The UK's infrastructure spend has had the brakes on since 2016 with major projects on a go-slow ahead of October's Brexit deadline, the chief executive of a major building firm has said.

CRH, which is based in Dublin, is the parent company of Farrans and Northstone in Northern Ireland.

Supplying big infrastructure is a big part of CRH's UK business - but its chief executive Albert Manifold said it won't make any snap decisions to sell UK assets or withdraw from the market there.

"We make our decisions based on a 20-year or 25-year horizon," Mr Manifold told reporters yesterday.

"It is highly unlikely we'll be looking to divest (in the immediate wake of Brexit)."

CRH, Ireland's biggest company, yesterday reported record earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of €1.54bn in the six months to June 30

Sales of €13.2bn were 11% year higher than the corresponding period last year, according to the interim results.

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The performance was driven by both organic growth and acquisitions and rooted in its two main markets in North America and Central and Eastern Europe. The UK market makes up 7% of CRH's earnings.

With Brexit looming, Mr Manifold said CRH's business was insulated from potential supply chain issues because it manufactures and sells locally within markets, including the UK.

Belfast Telegraph

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