1990’s – Expansion on All Fronts

In 1990 CRH invested in 13 glass fabrication plants which formed the basis for the highly successful Oldcastle Building Envelope product group that exists today. 1995 saw the first investment in cement manufacturing outside of Ireland through a shareholding in Cementownia Ozarów - one of the leading Polish cement producers; a minority stake in a major ceramic tile manufacturer in Argentina; CRH’s first position in Canada with the acquisition of Wescan glass fabrication business; and the establishment of a new growth area for the Americas Materials Division with the acquisition of Staker, a major quarry and blacktop business in Utah and the mountain states.

In 1996 the purchase of Tilcon for $323 million was CRH’s largest acquisition at that time, establishing a unique regional position in materials in the Northeastern US. The acquisition of Allied Building Products gave CRH a fifth core business in the US and a first presence in distribution.

In 1998, an initial 50.7% stake in the Ibstock clay brick business was acquired in the UK. While in Ireland, one of the largest automated block plants in the world, with an automated capacity of 30 million units, was opened at Roadstone Dublin’s Belgard Quarry complex.

1999 saw investments in glass tempering in Chile, cement in the Ukraine together with the acquisition of Finnsementti and Lohja Rudus which gave CRH a leading market position in cement, aggregates and concrete products in Finland, a first presence in the Baltic region and a strengthened position in concrete and aggregates in Poland.

By the end of the 1990s after spending €3.8 billion on 189 acquisitions, CRH was a group with sales of €6.7 billion, and profits before tax at a new record high level of €635 million.