CRH operates strong vertically-integrated primary materials businesses which have strategically located long-term reserves, balanced end-use exposure and leading market positions in all its major markets. This business model enables CRH to interact with the market at many levels and to earn profit at multiple stages of the supply chain with the pull-through of aggregates and cement into a broad range of downstream products. This is underpinned by long-term permitted reserves which totalled over 15 billion tonnes at end 2012. In addition it provides a broader balance of exposure to end-use demand drivers and multiple platforms for growth. CRH continuously invests in plant and equipment for quality, efficiency and customer service while also seeking out value-creating expansion opportunities via greenfield development and acquisitions in selected markets.