• H1 performance in line with guidance
  • Continued profit growth despite Q1 weather disruption and currency headwinds; margin in line amid inflationary cost environment
  • Active portfolio management; divestments of €2.9 billion and acquisitions of €3.4 billion (including 28 bolt-on transactions) year-to-date
  • Phase 1 of share buyback programme completed; €350 million returned to shareholders to date

Trading Highlights:

  • Sales of €11.9 billion, 1% ahead of 2017
  • Like-for-like sales1 ahead 2%; up 1% in Europe, up 3% in the Americas and down 2% in Asia
  • EBITDA of €1.13 billion, 1% ahead of 2017
  • Like-for-like EBITDA ahead 1%; up 1% in Europe, up 3% in the Americas and down 59% in Asia
  • EBITDA margin of 9.5% (H1 2017: 9.5%)
  • EPS from continuing operations of 45.0c per share, 11% ahead of 2017
  • Dividend per share increased 2% to 19.6c

Albert Manifold, Chief Executive, said:

”We have had a good first half despite significant weather disruption in Europe and North America in the first quarter. Construction markets continued to recover and pricing gathered momentum in key European markets while there was solid volume and price growth against a positive economic backdrop in the Americas. Active portfolio management remains an important element of our ongoing strategic focus on capital allocation while integration of our recent acquisitions is progressing as planned. I am also pleased to report that the first phase of our share buyback programme has been completed, with €350 million returned to shareholders to date. In addition, the Board has decided to increase the interim dividend by 2.1% to 19.6c per share. For the second half of the year, despite continuing currency headwinds and challenging conditions in the Philippines, we expect an improvement in the momentum experienced in Europe in the first half of the year and further EBITDA growth in the Americas, which will result in another year of progress for the Group.”