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CRH North American Business Spikes Higher

Irish building materials group CRH, owner of Oldcastle, expects strong growth in the United States to drive an increase in full-year earnings of around 25 percent, and more when a string of recent acquisitions are included.

The world's third-biggest building materials supplier said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) jumped 34 percent year-on-year to 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion) in the first nine months of the year, almost as much as the 1.58 billion made in all of 2014.

Including a forecast 340 million euros boost from the 6.5 billion-euro acquisition of assets offloaded by the newly merged LafargeHolcim in August, and 200 million euros worth of transaction costs, full-year EBITDA is expected to hit 2.08 billion.

CRH's second-half performance usually accounts for over two-thirds of overall earnings and includes the benefit of positive currency translation impacts this year, the Dublin-based group said.

Earnings for the first nine months of the year were up 55 percent in North America, where it noted "an economic recovery is driving construction demand," and 3 percent in Europe where it said the backdrop continued to be mixed but stable.

It said the assets acquired from LafargeHolcim, which include businesses in Europe, Canada, Brazil and the Philippines, were performing in line with its expectations,

Already the leading producer of asphalt and third largest supplier of construction aggregates in the United States prior to the LafargeHolcim deal, CRH also added U.S. glazing products manufacturer CR Laurence for $1.3 billion in September.

CRH embarked on its own disposal plan last year, one of the first steps Albert Manifold took as new CEO, and said that 1.1 billion euros of the 1.5-2 billion euros worth of net assets identified for sale had been offloaded.