Pre-tax profit at Irish building materials firm CRH has fallen 10% on the back of a weak dollar and flagging markets in North America and Europe.

The world’s second-biggest maker and distributor of building materials posted a figure of €606m (£485m) for the six months to 30 June 2008, down from €670m (£536m) last year.

Turnover increased slightly to €9.7bn (£7.6bn), from €9.69bn (£7.75m) in the previous year.

The firm said it expected to see a similar decline in profit in its full-year results.

Liam O'Mahony, chief executive, said: “Following 15 years of consecutive growth and a record performance in 2007, more difficult trading conditions and a weaker US dollar will, as previously indicated, result in a lower outcome for 2008.”