* Sees FY EBITDA at 1.6 bln eur from 1.65 previously
* Says to cut 450 mln euros in costs by end-2015
* In Europe like-for-like sales down 7 percent in quarter
* due to a contraction in Polish construction activity and
weak consumer sentiment in the Netherlands.
By Lorraine Turner
DUBLIN, Nov 13 Ireland'S CRH
said disruption from superstorm Sandy and further weakness in
key European markets will hit earnings in the final quarter,
prompting it to nudge down its full-year guidance.
The Dublin-based building materials company said it would
squeeze further costs out of the business in response to the
challenges in Europe, identifying 450 million euros ($572
million) of savings over the next three years, after slashing
more than 2 billion since 2007.
It did not say how many jobs would go as a result of various
administration and efficiency measures mostly in Europe.
The building sector, already facing the collapse of housing
markets in Spain and other crisis-hit euro zone states, is a
leading indicator of whether European companies are committing
to the investment needed to prevent an extended downturn.
The company said it expects to report earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of
approximately 1.6 billion euros, from its earlier estimate of
CRH, a leading producer of asphalt for highway
construction, said the short-term impact on its material
business from Sandy would be reversed early next year when
reconstruction work begins.
The storm, which swept up the east coast of the United
States nearly a fortnight ago, caused extensive damage including
in the New York City area.
"There has a been a lot of a damage in the northeast, our
distribution business supplies a lot of roofing products. Once
the winter clears, we'll probably see some benefits from that,"
CRH Chief Executive Myles Lee told Reuters.
"We see the U.S. continuing to move forward next year,
particularly on housing," said Lee, with like-for-like sales 1
percent ahead of 2011.
The picture is much bleaker in Europe. CRH said the pace of
decline in like-for-like sales was higher in the third quarter,
down 7 percent due to a contraction in Polish construction
activity and weak consumer sentiment in the Netherlands.
Countries such as Germany, Finland and Switzerland were more
resilient, said Lee.
France's Lafarge said sales volumes for cement
declined in the third quarter due to the construction slowdown
in Europe and bad weather conditions in the U.S. midwest, with
the world's largest cement maker vowing to cut its debt below 10
Shares in CRH were down 0.8 percent by 0833 GMT,
underperforming the Irish market which was up 0.3