Product and materials giant says that sales of Ibstock and concrete products are below 2004 levels.

CRH has announced that pre-tax profit for the six months ended 30 June 2005 have increased by 15-19% despite subdued demand in European and the UK.

The international products and materials giant reported that first half sales of Ibstock products in the UK were below 2004 levels, and that weak demand in the UK for pavers, blocks and tiles had impacted on its concrete products division. In the Eurozone CRH said there was no sign of any acceleration in demand.

CRH said that a strong performance in its American markets had helped to offset subdued activity in Europe, which was partly caused by severe spring weather in Northern Europe.

In the insulation division CRH said that tough trading conditions would result in lower operating profit in the first half of 2004.