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CRH plc 2004 results - year ended 31st December 2004

01 March 2005

  2004
euro m
2003
euro m
% change in 2004
Reported
% change in 2004
In constant
currency **
Sales 12,820 11,080 + 16% + 22%
Operating profit * 1,247 1,045 + 19% + 25%
Profit before tax 1,017 864 + 18% + 23%
2004
euro cent
2003
euro cent
% change in 2004
Reported
% change in 2004
In constant
currency **
Earnings per share
-excluding goodwill
163.1 136.2 + 20% + 26%
Earnings per share
- including goodwill
143.9 121.9 + 18% + 24%
Cash earnings per share 256.4 223.4 + 15% + 21%
Dividend per share 33.0 28.1 + 17% + 17%

* Including share of joint ventures and associates but excluding goodwill amortisation and profit on sale of fixed assets.

** These percentages compare 2004 results with 2003 figures restated at average 2004 exchange rates.

  • A landmark year with profit before tax exceeding euro 1 billion for the first time, reflecting excellent full year organic growth and a significant incremental contribution from acquisitions.
  • Although product prices in Ireland failed to compensate for cost increases, volumes showed satisfactory improvements to leave operating profit of euro 129 million marginally below last year’s level.
  • In Britain and Northern Ireland, underlying organic improvements combined with a slight strengthening of Sterling resulted in a 12% operating profit advance to euro 64 million.
  • In Mainland Europe, more normal weather conditions and underlying sectoral growth in many of our Materials Division’s markets resulted in a 46% increase in its operating profit to euro 194 million. The Products & Distribution Division continued to experience subdued markets. However, despite higher input costs, underlying performance improved and incremental benefits from 2003 and 2004 acquisitions resulted in a 62% advance in operating profit to euro 269 million.
  • While escalating energy costs eroded the benefits of price improvements for the Americas Materials Division, a sustained focus on operating cost reduction helped deliver a modest improvement in underlying US dollar operating profit. The Americas Products & Distribution Division had a strong year with continuing good residential demand and ongoing evidence of recovery in the non-residential sector leading to a 31% increase in US dollar operating profit. Overall results for the Americas Divisions were 16% ahead in US dollar terms; however the weaker US dollar resulted in a 6% increase in reported operating profit to euro 591 million.
  • Reflecting the better trading conditions, the 2004 dividend has been increased by 17.4%; this is the 21st consecutive year of dividend increase.
  • Total development activity amounted to euro 1 billion, lower than the euro 1.6 billion of 2003 which included the euro 0.7 billion Cementbouw transaction, but broadly in line with the levels of development spend in both 2002 and 2001.

Liam O’Mahony, Chief Executive, said today:


“2004 was a landmark year for CRH with profit before tax up 18%, exceeding one billion euro for the first time; our twelfth consecutive year of profit growth and testimony to the Group’s strategy and performance. Two particular challenges in the year were the very rapid and severe escalation of energy prices in the third quarter from already high levels which negatively affected our costs; and the continued decline of the US dollar. While there is continuing volatility in energy and currency markets which could impact adversely on economies as the year progresses, the current 2005 outlook for our markets is on the whole positive. Against this background, we maintain our relentless emphasis on performance and the recovery of higher input costs and with our sustained focus on development, supported by our strong balance sheet and cash flow, we look to continuing progress in the year ahead.”


Announced Tuesday, 1st March 2005

View the full release (PDF, 972KB, opens in a new window).

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