CRH plc, the international building materials
group, headquartered in Dublin and listed in London, said today in an
interim management statement that third quarter group like-for-like sales
(lfl) growth was at 2% and quarterly EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortization) 3% ahead of 2012 despite adverse currency
Robert Eason of Goodbody commented - - "Management has also announced that it will undertake a detailed assessment of the company’s portfolio with a view to identifying and focussing on the businesses which offer the most attractive returns. Management has stated that the process is likely to lead to disposals and will give an update on this on February 25th.
Group lfl sales increased by 2%, which highlights
the continued improving trend from -6% in H113. This has been driven by
improving lfl trends in both Europe and the Americas. At the EBITDA level, our
forecasts look broadly in line with management guidance implying a circa 5%
decline yoy for FY13.
Europe showed an improving trend with lfls broadly flat in Q313 compared to a 10% decline in H113. The Materials division has reported flat lfl sales for the period, improving strongly on the weather impacted 16% decline in H113. With EBITDA guidance for a 20% decline for the FY implying c.7% upside to our forecasts. Similarly, Products continues to improve with a 1% increase in lfl sales reported vs an 8% decline in H113, with management guiding for slightly better EBITDA performance than our forecasts. The upside to forecasts from these two divisions has been offset by a weaker outturn in Distribution which continue to be impacted by weak consumer sentiment in the Netherlands.
Overall, it is encouraging to see trends improving across both of CRH’s main geographies. However, we believe we have captured this in our forecasts and as such we envisage no material changes to our numbers. We believe the announcement of an asset review is positive and will be welcomed by the market."
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