Our Operations


Europe Distribution Overview


Europe Distribution’s strategy is to increase its network density in the largely unconsolidated core European markets while also investing in other attractive segments of building materials distribution. Organisational initiatives leverage expertise between DIY and Builders Merchants and use best-in-class IT to deliver operational excellence, optimise the supply chain and provide superior customer service.

From an established base in the Netherlands, CRH has expanded its leading Builders Merchants positions in Switzerland, Northern Germany, Austria and France servicing the growing repair, maintenance and improvement construction sector. Our Professional Builders Merchants sell a range of bricks, cement, roofing and other building products mainly to small and medium-sized builders.

In addition Europe Distribution is growing its DIY “GAMMA” format in the Benelux. The DIY Europe platform operates under four different brands: GAMMA (the Netherlands and Belgium), Karwei (the Netherlands), Hagebau (Germany) and Maxmat (Portugal) selling to DIY enthusiasts and home improvers.

Substantial opportunities remain to expand our existing network in core European markets and to establish new platforms aimed at increasing our exposure to growing RMI market demand. An example is CRH’s entry in recent years into the developing Sanitary, Heating and Plumbing (“SHAP”) distribution market, which has since replicated and expanded to service the specialist needs of plumbers, heating specialists and installers, and of gas and water technicians.

Europe Distribution employs approximately 11,400 people at over 650 locations across 7 countries.


At a glance


  • countries
  • 11,400 people
  • 650 operating locations

Europe Distribution Activities


Europe Distribution Countries & Regions


  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Switzerland

Europe Distributions Leadership Positions

Activities Market Leadership Positions
Builders Merchants No. 1 Austria
  No. 1 Netherlands
  No. 1 Switzerland
  No. 1 Northern Germany
  No.2 Ile-de-France and Normandy
DIY No. 1 Netherlands*
  No. 3 Belgium*
  No. 5 Germany**
  No. 2 Portugal (50%)
  *Member of Gamma/Karwei franchise
  **Member of Hagebau franchise
SHAP No. 2 Switzerland
  No. 2 Belgium
  No. 3 Northern Germany

Europe Distribution Sector Exposure

Europe Distribution Sector Exposure

Europe Distribution Outlets


Business Outlets
Builders Merchants 347 (506*)
DIY
183 (228*)
SHAP
134

*Including equity accounted investments