Another year of growth with sales and profits up and further progress expected this year
2019 was another year of growth for CRH, supported by a positive demand backdrop in the Americas and in key regions in Europe. In the Group’s Europe Materials businesses, positive performances in Eastern and Western Europe helped offset challenging trading conditions in the UK as construction activity here declined amidst Brexit-related uncertainty.
With good contributions from acquisitions and tailwinds from currency exchange movements, sales of €28.3 billion for the period were 6% ahead of 2018 and 3% ahead on a like-for-like basis, whilst EBITDA of €4.2 billion in 2019 was 25% ahead of 2018 (€3.4 billion) and EBITDA margin increased to 14.8% (2018: 12.5%).
Pre-tax profit from continuing operations was €2.1 billion (2018: €1.7 billion) and the Group generated net cash flows from operating activities of €3.5 billion for the year (2018: €1.9 billion). Year-end net debt was €6.7 billion (2018: €7.0 billion).
CRH chief executive Albert Manifold (pictured) said: ‘CRH delivered good profit growth in 2019 supported by positive momentum in our heritage businesses and strong contributions from recent acquisitions. With a continuing focus on margin expansion, cash generation and enhanced returns for shareholders, we believe that 2020 will be a year of further progress for the Group.’