Our Operations

Europe Distribution Overview

Through its Europe Distribution Division, CRH distributes building materials to professional builders, specialist heating and plumbing contractors, and DIY customers through a network of trusted local and regional brands.

What we do:

Europe Distribution is active in the trading of a range of building materials, catering to different local markets and varied customer groups.

Our development strategy is to increase the network density of our existing businesses in our core European markets, while also investing in new platforms in other attractive segments of building materials distribution. 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.

How we create value:

We operate a portfolio of local brands that focus on building deep customer relationships through quality of service, reliability and focused propositions aimed at selected market segments. We innovate around the changing needs of our customers through the introduction of additional product categories, new formats and technology in our offerings.

Expertise across our business segments is leveraged to optimise the supply chain, with just-in-time logistics, a category-management-based approach to procurement and focused IT systems.

How we are structured:

The Division is active in three business areas: General Builders Merchants (GBM), Sanitary, Heating and Plumbing (SHAP), and DIY (Do-It-Yourself). CRH holds a 21.13% equity interest in Samse S.A., a publicly-quoted distributor of building materials to the merchanting sector in the Rhone-Alpes region.

Europe Distribution employs approximately 11,000 people at over 650 locations.

At a glance

  • countries
  • 11,000 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

Sector Exposure - Europe Distribution

Europe Distribution Outlets

Business Outlets
Builders Merchants 345 (505*)
DIY  197 (243*)
SHAP 132

*Including equity accounted investments