CRH, the Irish-based international building materials giant, has reported a significant increase in earnings for the first half of the year. The company saw earnings rise by 14% to $2.5bn (€2.3bn), while sales increased by 8% to €16.1bn. This growth was driven by strong price increases and the company’s involvement in the US infrastructure spending under President Joe Biden’s administration.
Despite a decline in its European building division due to a slowdown in housebuilding activity and adverse weather conditions, CRH’s overall performance was robust. CEO Albert Manifold highlighted the company’s ability to offset cost inflation through strong pricing and the impact of recent acquisitions. He expressed confidence in CRH’s future growth prospects on both sides of the Atlantic.
Building material companies, including CRH, have faced scrutiny as they pass on rising costs to customers. However, CRH is optimistic about benefiting from President Biden’s plans to invest heavily in US infrastructure, which includes improvements to roads, railways, seaports, and airports. This anticipated increase in infrastructure spending is expected to compensate for any challenges faced by the housebuilding sector due to rising interest rates.
Mr. Manifold emphasized the bipartisan political support for the US spending program, suggesting that it is likely to continue beyond next year’s elections. While residential construction activity may remain subdued in the current interest-rate environment, CRH believes that the underlying fundamentals support long-term growth.
In recognition of its growing presence in the US market, CRH has decided to switch its main stock market listing from Dublin to New York. This move reflects the increasing significance of the US for the company. CRH’s shares have performed well this year, rising by 39% and valuing the company at nearly €37.2bn.