Market Report: City backs CRH after £840 million CR Laurence deal

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Another day, another acquisition for Irish building materials group CRH.

Having just completed the paperwork on its €6.5 billion (£4.7 billion) deal to take on some of LafargeHolcim’s assets, CRH is to spend another $1.3 billion (£840 million) on Los Angeles-based window glazing firm CR Laurence.

It is a bold move from chief executive Albert Manifold, who took the reins in January last year.

The Irish accountant, who was promoted from chief operating officer, was credited with saving the company as much as €2 billion in his five years in the role.

Now he has managed to turn the cement company into a major player in building materials.

Investors hailed the deal, sending CRH up 90p or 5% to 1890p, making it one of the top blue-chip performers.

Solid half-year results also impressed, with revenues up 13% to €9.37 billion and pre-tax profits up to €63 million from €61 million the year before.

Mining stocks rode the wave of the global market recovery, with Anglo American up 36.5p to 700.8p, BHP Billiton 47p higher at 1056.5p and Glencore up 4.85p to 143.75p.

Hints the US central bank might not raise interest rates next month after the recent market turmoil, triggered by the Chinese volatility, buoyed stocks around the world, with Wall Street putting on its best daily performance since 2011.


Wall Street closed up 4% on Wednesday

The FTSE 100 rose 118.77 points or 2% to 6097.97, with just a few shares in the red.

FTSE 250 recruiter Hays rose 2.8p to 157p as it saw pre-tax profits jump 18% to £156.1 million last year thanks to strong growth in the UK.

Chelsea FC owner Roman  Abramovich’s steel-maker Evraz, 1.15p richer at 76.2p, managed to boost half-year profits despite the recession in Russia, its main market.

Oil services firm Hunting dipped 9.6p to 423.4p as the oil price slump dragged it to a half-year loss despite slashing more than 900 jobs to squeeze costs. 

Half-year results reassured investors that Peter Hambro’s turnaround of his Russian gold producer Petropavlovsk, up 0.14p at 5.84p, is on track and should be debt free by 2018.


Petropavlovsk proved resilient despite the falling gold price

Shares in Kurdistan oil producers gushed higher after the local government said it would begin paying them regularly from the first half of September.

It said $75 million to $100 million would be doled out to companies operating in the region, boosting Gulf Keystone, which said it is owed $283 million, by 3.3p to 30.3p and Tony Hayward’s Genel by 47.5p to 339.5p.

On AIM, a rise from banana importer Fyffes in half-year profits and revenues failed to impress the City and it slipped 0.89p to 101.99p.

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August 27, 2015 |
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