Europe Heavyside Overview

Europe Heavyside’s strategic goal is to be the leading vertically integrated heavyside business in Europe, building leading regional positions in businesses that have the potential to grow further in the large European construction markets. With a balanced approach to demand exposure, product penetration and maximising the benefits of scale and best practice, our business is well differentiated in the marketplace. Enhanced alignment and collaboration leads to value creation throughout our extensive network of well-invested facilities across the division.

Europe Heavyside comprises cement, aggregates, asphalt and concrete operations. These operations are primarily located in UK, Switzerland, Germany, Benelux, France, Denmark, Ireland and Spain, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Ukraine and Finland. The business model of vertical integration is founded in resource-backed cement and aggregates assets, which support the manufacture and supply of cement, aggregates, readymixed and precast concrete, concrete landscaping and asphalt products. As a result, extending reserves is an ongoing process and a key focus for the Heavyside business. We place great emphasis on performance improvement initiatives across the business and seek to create value through optimisation of the asset base, maximising Group synergies and leveraging commercial and operational excellence. The scale of our operations provides economies in purchasing and logistics management and our commitment to sustainability is evidenced by greater use of alternative fuels and the manufacture of low carbon cements.

During 2015, the opportunity arose for CRH to acquire certain assets from Lafarge S.A. and Holcim Limited for a total enterprise value of €6.5 billion. These assets have leading market positions and produce cement, aggregates, readymixed concrete and asphalt and related construction activities globally. The European assets included the following; Western Europe (UK, France/La Reunion, Germany), Central and Eastern Europe (Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia).

The Europe Heavyside development strategy is currently focused on integration of our recent acquisitions, maximising the synergies to be gained. We remain focused on bolt-on acquisitions for synergies, reserves and further vertical integration, in addition to opportunities in contiguous regions to extend and strengthen regional positions. Our portfolio is managed through a focus on value creation, with a strong pipeline of opportunities across regions, including developing markets in Eastern Europe that offer long-term growth potential. As part of CRH’s ongoing strategy to optimise our portfolio, Europe Heavyside completed a total of 14 divestments in 2015, including the disposal of its 25% equity interest in Mashav, the holding company for the sole producer of cement in Israel, in December 2015.

In total Europe Heavyside employs approximately 27,500 people at close to 1,300 locations in 18 countries.

At a glance

  • 18  countries
  • 27,500 employees
  • 1,300 operating locations

Europe Heavyside Countries and Regions

  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Ireland 
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom

Europe Heavyside Leadership Positions

Activities Market Leadership Positions
Cement Top 10 Europe
  No.1 UK, Finland, Ireland, Ukraine
  No.2 Switzerland
  No.3 Poland
Aggregates No.1 UK, Finland, Ireland
Readymixed Concrete No.1 UK, Finland, Ireland, Poland
  No.2 Switzerland
Agricultural & Chemical Lime No.1 Ireland
  No.2 Poland
Concrete Products No.1 Structural concrete & flooring: Benelux
  No.1 Structural concrete: Denmark
  No.1 Utility precast: France
  No.1 Precast structural elements:Hungary
Architectural Concrete No.1 Blocks: Ireland
  No.2 Rooftiles: Ireland
  No.1 Landscaping products: Finland, Poland, Benelux, France and Slovakia
  No.1 Paving/landscape walling: Germany
  No.2 Paving products: Denmark

Europe Heavyside Sector Exposure


Europe Heavyside Volumes

Material Annualised Production Volumes
Cement 23m tonnes
109m tonnes (118m tonnes*)
11m tonnes
Readymixed concrete
15m m3
Lime 2m tonnes
Concrete products 6m tonnes
Architectural Concrete 6m tonnes

*Including equity accounted investments

Europe Heavyside Reserves

  Physical Location Proven & Probable
(million tonnes)
Period to depletion
Cement France 155 81
  Germany 164 54
  Ireland 215 109
  Poland 185 46
  Romania 241 79
  Serbia 109 185
  Spain 85 366
  Switzerland 31 21
  Ukraine 158 51
Aggregates Finland 192 17
  France 250 24
  Ireland 1,073 94
  Poland 182 40
  Romania 121 50
  Spain 96 44
  UK 1,438 33
  Other 191 48
Lime Ireland/Poland 161 160
  UK 39 36