CRH Trading Update – April 2023
CRH plc, the global leader in building materials solutions, issues the following Trading Update for the period 1 January 2023 to 31 March 2023.
- Positive start to the year; Q1 sales and EBITDA ahead
- Integrated solutions strategy continuing to deliver
- $0.2bn acquisitions YTD; strong pipeline of opportunities
- $3bn share buyback underway; total buybacks in H1 to be c.$1bn
- Continued progress against industry-leading sustainability agenda
- Strong shareholder support for transition to US primary listing; EGM to be held on 8 June
- Expect H1 Group sales, EBITDA & margin to be ahead of prior year
Albert Manifold, Chief Executive, said today:
“We had a positive start to the year in a seasonally quiet trading period. While some adverse weather conditions were experienced in Q1, sales and EBITDA were ahead, underpinned by the continued execution of our integrated solutions strategy and further commercial progress across our markets. Looking ahead, despite some ongoing macroeconomic uncertainties and an inflationary cost environment, we expect first-half sales, EBITDA and margin to be ahead of the prior year period.”
Announced Wednesday, 26 April 2023
In what is a seasonally quiet period for our business, the Group delivered a positive start to the year with first quarter sales and EBITDA ahead of the same period last year, driven by the successful execution of our integrated solutions strategy, resilient underlying demand, good commercial progress and the strong contribution from 2022 acquisitions.
Americas Materials Solutions
Americas Materials Solutions sales were 10% ahead of the same period in 2022, driven by robust pricing which more than offset the impact of unfavourable weather on activity levels in certain markets during this seasonally less significant quarter.
Key Solutions Lines in Brief
- Essential Materials: Q1 sales were 15% ahead driven by good activity levels in the Northeast and Great Lakes which, together with double-digit price growth in aggregates and cement, more than offset lower activity levels due to inclement weather in the West and South.
- Road Solutions: Strong price progression and good underlying demand in the Northeast and Great Lakes resulted in sales 7% ahead of Q1 2022, more than offsetting the negative impact of adverse weather in the West and South. Backlogs and bidding activity are strong, underpinned by significant increases in US infrastructure funding at both federal and state level.
Americas Building Solutions
First quarter sales were 22% ahead of the same period in 2022, reflecting good pricing progress, resilient underlying demand, the positive contribution from prior year acquisitions and the continued delivery of our integrated solutions strategy.
Key Solutions Lines in Brief
- Outdoor Living Solutions: A good start to the year with resilient demand, pricing progress and the contribution from Barrette Outdoor Living resulted in sales 30% ahead of the first quarter of 2022.
- Building & Infrastructure Solutions: Q1 sales were 9% ahead of a strong prior year comparative as good commercial management and contributions from 2022 acquisitions offset a slower start to the construction season due to adverse weather in certain regions.
Europe Materials Solutions
Like-for-like sales were 6% ahead of the same period in 2022 due to strong pricing momentum across all products and regions. Activity levels were impacted by less favourable weather conditions compared to the same period in 2022. Unfavourable currency translation effects resulted in total sales 1% behind 2022.
Key Solutions Lines in Brief
- Essential Materials: Strong pricing actions across all markets resulted in sales 5% ahead of the first quarter of 2022. Activity levels were impacted by colder winter conditions across Europe, lower demand in Ukraine and the Philippines and subdued residential activity across a number of key markets.
- Road Solutions: Like-for-like sales for the first quarter were in line with 2022 as pricing progress in the UK, Ireland and Poland offset lower activity levels due to adverse weather conditions.
Europe Building Solutions
First quarter sales were 1% behind the same period in 2022, reflecting a slower start to the year due to unfavourable weather and a strong prior year comparative.
Key Solutions Lines in Brief
- Outdoor Living Solutions: Sales were 6% behind 2022 as prolonged winter weather impacted demand in key markets, partly offset by higher pricing.
- Building & Infrastructure Solutions: Good underlying demand across our markets resulted in first quarter sales in line with a strong prior year comparative.
Share Buyback Programme
During the first quarter, the Group continued its share buyback programme returning a further $0.3 billion of cash to shareholders. As announced on 2 March 2023, the Group intends to substantially increase its share buyback programme through the repurchase of up to $3 billion of shares over the next 12 months. Consistent with the Group’s disciplined approach to capital allocation, the increase in our share buyback programme demonstrates our confidence in the outlook for our business and our continued strong cash generation, while retaining the financial flexibility to invest in further growth and value creation opportunities for our shareholders. An initial tranche of the increased share buyback programme, for a maximum consideration of $750 million, commenced on 31 March and will be completed no later than 29 June 2023.
The Group has spent $0.2 billion on four acquisitions in the year to date, the largest of which was the acquisition of Ulricehamns Betong AB in Sweden by Europe Building Solutions, expanding our precast concrete solutions offering in an attractive market.
We remain committed to continuously improving our sustainability performance by providing integrated sustainable solutions for our customers, advancing circularity and innovating to create a more sustainable built environment. We recently announced that the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) validated our decarbonisation targets in line with its 1.5°C science-based framework, which equate to a 30% reduction in absolute carbon emissions by 2030 (from a 2021 base year). This is aligned with our ambition to be a net-zero business by 2050.
On 2 March 2023, CRH announced that following a review of its listing structure, the Board had come to the conclusion that it is in the best interests of our business and our shareholders to pursue a US primary listing, together with US equity index inclusion as soon as possible.
North America currently represents approximately 75% of Group EBITDA and is expected to be a key driver of future growth for CRH. We believe a US primary listing will bring increased commercial, operational and acquisition opportunities for our business, further accelerating our successful integrated solutions strategy and delivering even higher levels of profitability, returns and cash for our shareholders.
Since the initial announcement, we have engaged extensively with our shareholders to explain the rationale for our recommendation. After careful consideration of the feedback received and based on the strong support indicated by our shareholders, we will now seek formal approval for the listing change from shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held on 8 June 2023. A notice convening the meeting, together with an explanation of the resolutions to be considered, will be included in a Shareholder Circular which will be distributed to shareholders in advance of the meeting.
Looking ahead to our first-half trading performance, in our Americas segments we expect robust infrastructure demand, good activity in key non-residential segments, continued pricing progress and positive contributions from acquisitions. We anticipate a more challenging backdrop in Europe driven by continued inflationary pressures and some slowdown in the new-build residential sector. Overall, assuming normal seasonal weather patterns and absent any major dislocations in the macroeconomic environment, we expect Group sales, EBITDA and margin for the first half of the year to be ahead of 2022 (H1 2022 EBITDA: $2.2 billion), reflecting the continuing strength and resilience of our integrated solutions strategy.
CRH will report its interim results for the six months ending 30 June on Thursday, 24 August 2023.
|Q1 sales change versus 2022||Americas Materials Solutions||Americas Building Solutions||Europe Materials Solutions||Europe Building Solutions||Group|
1. Like-for-like movements exclude the impact of currency exchange, acquisitions and divestments.
About CRH plc
CRH (LSE: CRH, ISE: CRG, NYSE: CRH) is the leading building materials business in the world, employing c.79,000 people at c.3,100 operating locations in 30 countries. It is the largest building materials business in North America, a leading heavyside materials business in Europe and has positions in both Asia and South America. CRH manufactures and supplies a range of integrated building materials, products and innovative solutions which can be found throughout the built environment, from major public infrastructure projects to commercial buildings and residential structures. A Fortune 500 company, CRH is a constituent member of the FTSE 100 Index, the EURO STOXX 50 Index, the ISEQ 20 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) Europe. CRH’s American Depositary Shares are listed on the NYSE. For more information visit www.crh.com.
Tom Holmes – Head of Investor Relations – 404 1000 (353 1 404 1000)
Source: CRH plc