TOP NEWS: CRH ups guidance and makes $2.1 billion Texas buy | Tuesday 21 Nov 2023

TOP NEWS: CRH ups guidance and makes $2.1 billion Texas buy | Tuesday 21 Nov 2023

CRH PLC lifted its annual outlook on Tuesday and said it has struck a $2.1 billion deal to acquire cement and ready-mixed concrete assets in Texas.

The Dublin-based building materials said net sales in the nine months to September 30 were 8% higher on-year at $26.3 billion. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation surged 14% $4.8 billion.

CRH’s double-digit Ebitda growth was aided by margin expansion. Its Ebitda margin increased by 100 basis points on-year to 18.1%.

‘I am pleased to report another strong performance for our business. Our integrated solutions strategy continues to deliver superior growth, while our strong cash generation and disciplined approach to capital allocation enables us to create additional value for our shareholders,’ Chief Executive Albert Manifold said.

CRH lifted its annual Ebitda outlook to $6.3 billion, from its previous guidance of $6.2 billion. The new forecast would represent a roughly 13% climb from the $5.6 billion achieved in 2022.

In addition, it will lift its dividend by 4.7% to $1.33 per share in 2023, from $1.27. It added that it will transition to paying quarterly dividends in 2024, instead of its current policy of two ordinary dividends per year.

Earlier in 2023, CRH paid an interim dividend of $0.25, up 4.2% on-year from $0.24. Its forecast for the full-year implies a final payout of $1.08 per share.

CRH added: ‘Looking ahead to 2024 and notwithstanding some macroeconomic uncertainties, we expect resilient underlying demand across our key end-use markets in North America and Europe, underpinned by significant public investment in infrastructure and increased re-industrialization activity in key non-residential segments. While new-build residential construction is expected to remain subdued, we expect positive pricing momentum to continue, supported by good commercial management and the benefits of our integrated and value-based solutions strategy.’

In addition, CRH said it has landed a deal to acquire an ‘attractive portfolio’ of materials assets in Texas from Raleigh, North Carolina-based Martin Marietta Materials Inc.

CRH will fork out $2.1 billion for the cement and ready-mixed concrete assets.

‘The combined portfolio of assets is expected to generate pro-forma 2023 Ebitda of approximately $170 million,’ the firm explained.

CRH shares traded 1.7% higher at 4,823.54 pence each in London on Tuesday morning.

CRH in September completed the transfer of its primary listing to New York Stock Exchange from London Stock Exchange, meaning it was no longer eligible for FTSE 100 inclusion. It also cancelled its listing in Euronext Dublin.

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