CRH confirms positive 2012 start, chairman transition

Sources: CRH plc, Dublin; CP staff

During its Annual General Meeting in Ireland, Oldcastle’s parent company reported double-digit gains in Americas Materials and Americas Products shipments for the first four months of 2012 against the same period last year.

On this side of the Atlantic, CRH credits mild winter weather and a “firmer tone in overall economic activity in the United States” for an 11 percent sales increase in January–April 2012 compared to prior-year figures. Contributing to gains, by category, are ready mixed concrete, up 13 percent this year over the first four months of 2011; aggregates, 20 percent; and, asphalt, 16 percent. The Americas Products business this year is up 12 percent over the same 2011 period. Company officials anticipate a more representative gauge of 2012 market conditions in May–July, where seasonal factors drive much higher Materials and Products shipments than the typically low-volume January–April window.

Along with encouraging signs from Americas operations, CRH informed shareholders of moderate decreases across its Europe businesses for the first four months of the year as measured against 2011 figures, noting especially the continent’s unusually harsh winter.

Pursuant to a February 2012 board announcement, Nicky Hartery was named CRH chairman, succeeding Kieran McGowan, who retired after five years in the post and nearly 15 years on the board. A CRH board member since 2004, Hartery was vice president of Manufacturing and Business Operations for Dell Inc.’s Europe, Middle East and Africa operations from 2000–2008. He has also held executive positions with Eastman Kodak and Verbatim Corp. In addition to his CRH duties, he is chief executive of Prodigium, a business advisory services provider.