CRH’s operations across the globe faced mixed economic circumstances during 2012. In their main markets, there was an ongoing improvement in overall economic activity in the United States, which saw a welcome recovery in residential construction, while consumer and investor conﬁdence continued to slow in European economies, particularly in the Netherlands. Against this backdrop, Group proﬁt before tax amounted to €674 million and earnings per share were 76.5c.
The proﬁt and earnings per share outturns represented declines of 5% and 7% respectively, compared with 2011 outturns of €711 million and 82.6c. The Group’s results and the performance of the separate business segments are covered in detail in the Chief Executive’s review and in the Finance and Operations reviews which follow.
In August 2012 the Board decided to maintain the interim dividend of 18.5c. This took into account anticipated strong second-half cash ﬂows and the Group’s strong balance sheet. With full-year operating cash ﬂow before dividends of €0.5 billion and taking into account 2012 proﬁt, capital expenditure, development activity and portfolio rationalisation, the Board is
recommending a ﬁnal dividend of 44c per share. If approved at the Annual General Meeting in May 2013, this will maintain the full year 2012 dividend of 62.5c per share.
“CRH’s operations across the globe faced mixed economic circumstances during 2012. Management continue to focus on implementing cost savings initiatives and on operational excellence. In the medium to longer term, as economic growth returns, the Group is well positioned to beneﬁt from the signiﬁcant efforts made over recent years.” in India, through our My Home Industries Limited 50% joint venture, which has a state-of-the-art, highly efﬁcient, cement plant in Andhra Pradesh. India currently has a low per capita cement usage, which provides CRH with an opportunity to grow with the industry and to build a signiﬁcant presence over time. In Russia we have a dedicated base in Moscow focussed on identifying development opportunities. In addition, we are in the process of opening a regional headquarters in Singapore.
Myles Lee, Group Chief Executive, has conﬁrmed to the Board his intention to retire from CRH at the end of 2013 having reached the age of 60, and following completion of a 5 year term as Chief Executive and 10 years as an Executive Director. Myles joined CRH in 1982, joining the Board in November 2003 as Finance Director, later becoming Chief Executive in January 2009.
Myles has contributed very signiﬁcantly over an extended period to the development and progress of CRH and continues to do so. By advising the 8 CRHoard of his decision well in advance of retirement, Myles has, in line with long-established CRH practice, facilitated the planning and management of his succession in an ordered and timely fashion. The Board has appointed a
Committee, which I will chair, to conduct the search for a successor to Myles.
Kieran McGowan retired from the Board and the Chairmanship following the Annual General Meeting in May 2012. He joined the Board in 1998 and became Chairman in 2007. Kieran’s contribution to CRH was signiﬁcant during that period and his leadership of the Board during his ﬁve years as Chairman was exceptional.
Management’s views on the outlook for 2013 are set out in the Chief Executive’s review and the various Operations Reviews. Overall, they expect continued progress in their US and canadian markets during 2013 and another challenging year for our European Divisions. Management will continue to focus on implementing identiﬁed cost savings initiatives and on
operational excellence. In the medium to longer term, as economic growth returns, the Group says it is well positioned to beneﬁt from the signiﬁcant efforts made by management over recent years.