CRH boosts shareholder dividends after seeing earnings rise

CRH expects core earnings to climb to $5.5billion (£4.7billion) this year ‘against a continually challenging cost environment’, after seeing its interim profit rise. 

The building materials giant’s first-half profits increased by a fifth to $2.2billion, driven by its North America and Europe markets, with group sales jumping 14 per cent on the same time last year to $15billion.

London-listed CRH announced to shareholders on Thursday a 4 per cent hike in its interim dividend to 24 cents a share. 

On the up: CRH said its interim profits increased by a fifth to $2.2bn in the first half

CRH expects its full-year earnings to grow by 10 per cent on a like-for-like basis after profit margins grew by 90 basis points to 14.7 per cent to the end of June.

It has forecast full-year earnings of $5.5 billion, surpassing the $5billion made in 2021.

The company said resilient demand for infrastructure projects and repair, maintenance and improvement works would bolster its US operations, which comprise 75 per cent of group earnings and where it is the biggest producer of asphalt for highway construction. 

CRH added that it was able to offset the overall impact of rising costs due to ‘a strong focus on commercial and operational initiatives’. 

The building sector is battling against surging costs against a volatile backdrop. 

CRH said: ‘Against a challenging inflationary cost backdrop, our Americas Materials Division is expected to be supported by resilient underlying demand as well as commercial and operational excellence initiatives.

‘Our Building Products Division is expected to benefit from positive underlying residential RMI and utility infrastructure demand as well as contributions from recent acquisitions. In Europe Materials, we expect the trading environment to remain challenged by inflationary cost pressures, macroeconomic uncertainty and geopolitical tensions.’

In Europe East, CRH said it it was continuing to assist its staff in Ukraine.

CRH’s spending on acquisitions climbed to $2.8billion, including Barette Outdoor Living, the fencing and railings chain in the US and parts of Canada, for $1.9billion. 

Albert Manifold, the group’s boss, said: ‘CRH has delivered another strong performance with further growth in sales, EBITDA and margin despite a challenging and volatile cost environment. 

‘This performance reflects the continued execution of our integrated and sustainable solutions strategy. 

‘Looking ahead, despite some continued cost headwinds, the strength of our balance sheet and resilience of our business leaves us well positioned to deliver superior value for all our stakeholders.’

CRH shares rose today and were up 2.17 per cent or 68.00p to 3,199.00p this morning, having fallen by around 15 per cent in the last year.  

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