(Alliance News) - CRH PLC on Thursday said its profit fell in the first half of 2020 with lower revenue and a much smaller profit on disposals, though maintained its dividend.
Shares in CRH were up 1.0% at 3,038.00 pence in London in early trading.
The Dublin-based building materials business reported a USD518 million pretax profit for the six months ended June 30, down 28% from USD717 million a year before.
The company noted that: "The global Covid-19 pandemic had a material impact across the construction markets in which we operate."
Revenue was USD12.22 billion, down 4.9% from USD12.85 billion a year before. Combined with this, profit on disposals fell sharply to only USD9 million from USD166 million in the prior year, leading to an overall profit drop.
CRH said it delivered a "robust performance in a challenging environment", with its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation up 2% on a like-for-like basis and its Ebitda margin up 70 points like-for-like at 13%. Operating cash flow of USD1.0 billion also represented a USD700 million increase from the prior year on a like-for-like basis.
A dividend of 22.0 US cents per share was declared for the interim period, maintained from a year before.
Going forward, third-quarter Ebitda is expected to align with the previous year, while visibility into the fourth quarter and 2021 is "limited". CRH said it will focus on improving its profitability, margins and cash.
Chief Executive Albert Manifold said: "Our first-half performance is testament to the hard work and dedication of all our people during a very challenging and uncertain period. As ever, health and safety is our number one priority and our primary focus is to provide a safe working environment for all of our employees. As a group we took swift and comprehensive action in response to the Covid-19 crisis, and our ability to flex our cost base and deliver improved profitability, margins and cash generation in a rapidly evolving environment demonstrates the strength and resilience of our business. The outlook for the rest of the year and into 2021 remains uncertain and is dependent on an improving health situation across our markets."
By Anna Farley; email@example.com
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