Irish building materials firm's interim results show plunging profit on back of 15% fall in turnover

Pre-tax profit at international building materials firm CRH fell 82% in the six months ending 30 June 2009, plunging from €606m (£529m) the previous year to €108m (£94.2m).

Restructuring costs of €74m (£65m) contributed to the fall, which was revealed in the Irish firm's interim results.

Operating profit at the group fell by two-thirds, from €712m (£621m) a year ago to €241m (£210m) during the first half of this year.

Revenue dropped 15% from €9.7bn (£8.5bn) in 2008 to €8.3bn (£7.2bn). Meanwhile, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell by €453m (£395m) to €651m (£568m).

The firm said the rate of decline in the second quarter had eased substantially compared with the first three months of the year, but acknowledged it had suffered in the global economic climate.

Chief executive Myles Lee said: “While overall group profitability in the second half of 2009 will be lower than in 2008, we will benefit from the aggressive cost reduction measures undertaken in 2008 and to date in 2009 and from more moderate second-half energy-related input costs than in 2008.

“As a result, the overall rate of profit decline experienced in the first half is expected to improve in the seasonally more profitable second half.”