Albert Manifold, Chief Executive, stated: “2016 was a year of significant profit growth for CRH, with margins and returns ahead of last year in every division. We benefited from positive momentum in the Americas, and also in Europe, particularly in the Northern and Eastern regions where we operate. We see con-tinued growth for the Group in 2017.”
Sales of € 27.1 billion for the period were 15 % ahead of 2015 reflecting the inclusion of full year results from the LH Assets and C.R.
For 2016 as a whole, higher sales and good cost control supported improved profits and margins across the Group with proforma EBITDA in the Americas 15 % ahead of 2015, Europe up 3 % and Asia in line.
The Group generated net cash flow from operating activities of € 2.3 billion for the year (2015: € 2.2 billion).
In 2017, CRH see continued positive momentum in the United States (US) construction sector. CRH expect that residential construction, which has still not returned to long-term average levels, will advance, while non-residential activity will also improve. For US infrastructure, the group anticipate that the funding stability provided by the FAST Act (which authorises moderate year-on-year increases in federal funding for highways), together with expected increases in state spending on transportation improvements, will result in a positive trend for volumes, particularly in the second half of the year. Overall CRH expect the Americas business to advance further in 2017.
In Europe, CRH anticipate that most countries will continue to experience the modest impact of early-stage economic recovery. While the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, together with the forthcoming elections in a number of countries, has created a level of uncertainty for the medium-term, the company expect progress to continue in 2017.
In Asia, CRH expect further improvement in economic and construction activity in the Philippines in 2017.
CRH expect the generally positive economic backdrop to continue this year. With the balanced portfolio, CRH is well positioned to capitalise on this improved market environment and the company see continued growth for the Group in 2017.