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CRH plc 2008 results - year ended 31st December 2008

03 March 2009

Robust delivery in a challenging year

Year ended 31st December 2009
euro m
euro m
% change
Revenue 20,887 20,992 - %
EBITDA* 2,665 2,860 - 7%
Operating profit * 1,841 2,086 - 12%
Profit on disposal of non-current assets 69 57 +21%
Profit before tax 1,628 1,904 - 14%
euro cent euro cent
Earnings per share 233.1 262.7 - 11%
Cash earnings per share 386.9 404.9 - 4%
Dividend 69 68 + 1.5%

* EBITDA and operating profit are stated before profit on disposal of non-current assets.

  • CRH has delivered full-year profit before tax of euro 1,628 million, a decrease of 14% compared to the record result in 2007, and in line with guidance provided in the Interim Management Statement of 11th November 2008 and in the Trading Update Statement of 6th January 2009.
  • There was a lower decrease in earnings per share which fell 11% to 233.1c (2007: 262.7c), as a result of the share buyback and a lower effective tax rate, 22.5% compared with 24.5% in 2007.
  • Operating profit in our Europe divisions declined by euro 57 million to euro 1,049 million, a 5% decrease. Acquisitions completed in 2007 and 2008 contributed an incremental euro 73 million of operating profit, while organic operating profit declined by euro 130 million.
  • Operating profit for the Americas operations decreased by euro 188 million to euro 792 million, down 19%. The weaker average US dollar/euro exchange rate accounted for euro 67 million of the decrease in operating profit. In US dollar terms, operating profit declined 13%.
  • Overall operating profit margin decreased to 8.8% (2007: 9.9%).
  • Profit on disposal of non-current assets at euro 69 million was ahead of 2007 (euro 57 million). It is anticipated that a strong level of profit on disposals will be an ongoing feature of the Group’s activities.
  • Expenditure on acquisitions and investments during 2008 totalled euro 1 billion.
  • Despite lower profitability, EBITDA/net interest cover remained high at 7.8 times for the year (2007: 9.4 times), above the Group’s comfort range of 6 to 6.5 times.
  • The proposed 1.5% dividend increase for 2008 marks the 25th consecutive year of dividend growth, and follows increases of 31% in 2007 and 33% in 2006. Dividend cover for the year at 3.4 times was broadly in line with our previously stated target of 3.5 times for 2008.

Myles Lee, Chief Executive, said today:

“Despite a challenging backdrop, CRH performed robustly in 2008 and succeeded in limiting the decline in performance following 15 consecutive years of growth between 1992 and 2007. The outlook for 2009 is extremely challenging and management’s attention and efforts are resolutely focussed on commercial delivery and on ensuring that our businesses are strongly positioned through additional cost reduction and cash generation measures to cope with whatever trading circumstances may evolve. In addition, we continue to strengthen our financial flexibility in order to ensure that the Group is well positioned to take advantage, in its traditional long-established disciplined manner, of a likely increased flow of development opportunities as the year progresses.”

Announced Tuesday, 3rd March 2009

This Results Announcement contains certain forward-looking statements as defined under US legislation. By their nature, such statements involve uncertainty; as a consequence, actual results and developments may differ from those expressed in or implied by such statements depending on a variety of factors including the specific factors identified in this statement and other factors discussed in our Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC.

Contact CRH at Dublin 404 1000 (+353 1 404 1000)

Myles Lee Chief Executive
Glenn Culpepper Finance Director
Éimear O’Flynn Head of Investor Relations
Maeve Carton Head of Group Finance

View the full release (PDF, 452KB, opens in a new window).

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