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News : Irish Last Updated: Apr 24, 2009 - 5:31:05 PM

CRH expects to report a full year percentage decline in profit before tax in the low to mid-teens
By Finfacts Team
Nov 11, 2008 - 8:30:44 AM

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CRH Chief Executive Liam O’Mahony rings The Opening Bell on April 4, 2006 at the New York Stock Exchange. CRH is the largest US building materials group.

CRH plc today issued an Interim Management Statement it expects to report a full year percentage decline in profit before tax in the low to mid-teens. CRH expects a lesser reduction in earnings per share as a result of share buyback and the lower expected full year percentage tax charge which was noted in our August announcement.

CRH said overall for Europe, with a slowing dynamic in central and eastern countries and lower 2008 growth expectations for most western European economies, it expects that operating profit will show a low-single-digit percentage decline compared with last year’s  €1.106 billion.

In the Americas, CRH expects a mid-teen percentage decline in full year US$ operating profit compared with last year’s US$1.343 billion. However, with a more favourable projected full-year 2008 US$/euro exchange rate of 1.47*, previously 1.51 (2007: 1.3705), it continues to expect a full year operating profit decline in euro terms of approximately 20% (2007: €0.980 billion).

On the development front a total of approximately €1 billion has been invested to date in acquisitions and investments. The completion of the €0.2 billion Yatai investment in China, announced in January, and the €0.4 billion Pavestone acquisition in the United States, announced in March, continues to be dependent on various regulatory approvals.

CRH says in relation to capital expenditure, despite significant additional expenditure on completion of the new cement plants in Ireland and the United States, it expects that 2008 capital expenditure will be held at the 2007 level of €1 billion.

* Based on year to date US$/euro average of 1.50 and a projected rate of 1.28 for the remainder of 2008. The guidance provided in our Interim Statement of 26 August incorporated a projected 2008 rate of 1.51.

CRH said while the outlook for 2009 is challenging given the growing impact of ongoing turmoil in financial markets on the broader world economy, there are some positives with declining energy costs, world-wide interest rate reductions, a potential US infrastructure stimulus package and translation benefits of a stronger US$. Against this background, CRH's geographic, sectoral and product balance continues to underpin performance and cash flow.

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