Annual profits

CRH’s annual profits increase in a context of good demand

Irish building materials company HRC on Thursday reported higher profits and revenue for the full year as it hailed good underlying demand.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased 16% to $5.35 billion, with sales up 12% from 2020 to $31 billion. Pretax profit for 2021 was $3.3 billion, down from $1.7 billion a year earlier.

The company’s board is recommending a final dividend of 98 cents per share, which would translate to a total dividend for the year of 121 cents, up 5% from 2020.

CRH said 2021 was “another year of growth” for the company, with positive underlying momentum in North America and Europe driving good demand in both regions.

Materials for North America benefited from increased construction activity during the year due to strong residential demand in North America. Meanwhile, Europe Materials saw good volume growth and good price growth compared to a year-ago comparative year that was heavily impacted by pandemic restrictions, CRH said.

Managing Director Albert Manifold said: “Our performance in 2021 reflects the exceptional commitment and resilience of our people and the benefits of our integrated, customer-focused business strategy. Despite an inflationary input cost environment, we increased our margins and recorded good growth in earnings, returns and cash generation.

“This further strengthens our strong and flexible balance sheet, providing us with significant opportunities for future growth and value creation. Although the demand environment remains favorable in our markets, there are a number of challenges and uncertainties that we must continue to manage prudently as we seek to deliver greater value to our shareholders in the year ahead.”

Late Wednesday, CRH joined the growing list of companies deciding to leave Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine.