CRH struggles in Britain but profits show 7% gain

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The Independent Online
CRH, the Dublin-based international building products group, has made further cuts in Britain in the face of what its chief executive described as a market with a huge lack of confidence.

Tony Barry said July was 'the worst July we've ever seen in Britain'. He was speaking as the group announced a 7 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to Ir pounds 22.6m ( pounds 21.9m) for the six months to 30 June.

The interim dividend will rise 5 per cent to Ir2.25p, but Mr Barry warned that results for the full year would fall short of last year's outcome. He said he would not quibble with analysts' forecasts of Ir pounds 57-60m for the full year, against Ir pounds 63m.

Mr Barry said the company had under-estimated the scale of the UK downturn. Cuts on the same scale as last year are being made, with the loss of about 600 jobs.

Group profits were helped by US operations, which performed better than last year. Profits in Ireland and the rest of Europe were stable.