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2002 results - year ended 31st December 2002

04 March 2003

2002
euro m
2001
euro m
% change
Sales 10,794 10,444 +3%
Operating profit * 1,048 1,020 +3%
Profit before tax 856 803 +7%

2002
euro cent
2001
euro cent
% change
Earnings per share -before goodwill amortisation 132.54 127.32 +4%
Earnings per share - after goodwill amortisation 119.22 115.32 +3%
Cash earnings per share 219.82 213.73 +3%
Dividend 25.40 23.00 +10%

* Operating profit including share of joint ventures but before goodwill amortisation and profit on sale of fixed assets.

  • Construction activity in the Republic of Ireland gained momentum in the second half of the year following a sharp decline during the first six months, and finished 4% down on 2001. Against this background, operating profit dropped by 2% to euro 131 million.
  • In Britain and Northern Ireland, operating profit fell by 10% to euro 56 million, with the impact of modest price increases at Ibstock not sufficient to offset energy cost hikes and generally weaker activity in Northern Ireland.
  • In the Materials Division in Mainland Europe, the full year impact of 2001 acquisitions largely offset the impact of rationalisation costs in Poland and generally weaker construction markets, with operating profits down only 1% to euro 126 million. The Products & Distribution Division recorded a 65% increase in operating profits to euro 107 million, reflecting the incremental impact of acquisitions and the benefits of the ongoing restructuring and efficiency improvement measures.
  • Results for the Americas operations were ahead in dollar terms but were adversely affected by a 5% weakening of the US dollar versus the euro. Operating profit in the Materials Division dropped by 3% to euro 336 million with the impact of currency, weak markets and high bitumen costs only partly offset by cost reduction programmes and contributions from acquisitions. In a challenging market and economic environment for all of its product groups, the Products & Distribution Division benefited from acquisitions, achieving a 2% increase in operating profits to euro 292 million.
  • Total acquisition and investment activity spend amounted to euro 1 billion on 45 deals.

Liam O’Mahony, Chief Executive, said today:

“Against a difficult market backdrop in 2002, the Group has again demonstrated its ability to deliver record earnings. Trading conditions are likely to remain difficult in most of our markets for the immediate future. However, with our strong focus on cost control and on optimising cash flow by rigorous management of working capital and capital expenditure, and with a uniquely strong balance sheet, we are well positioned to develop the Group further through our continuing programme of acquisitions where we see value and good strategic fit. We remain committed to our twin goals – performance and growth.”

Announced Tuesday, 4th March 2003

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