Ireland: CRH recorded a profit of US$406m in the first half of 2020, down from US$602m in the first half of 2019. Sales fell by 4.9% year-on-year to US$12.2bn from US$12.8bn. Price rises in many markets offset the general reduction in cement volumes caused by coronavirus lockdown, while volumes grew in Germany, the Benelux countries, Brazil and the US.
Chief executive officer (CEO) Albert Manifold said, “We took swift and comprehensive action in response to the Covid-19 crisis, and our ability to flex our cost base and deliver improved profitability, margins and cash generation in a rapidly evolving environment demonstrates the strength and resilience of our business. The outlook for the rest of the year and into 2021 remains uncertain and is dependent on an improving health situation across our markets.” Though the group provided no full-year guidance for 2020, it said, “The longer-term prospects for CRH remain positive, benefiting from significant financial strength and resilience together with a portfolio of high-quality assets in attractive markets.”