28/02/2002

Construction slowdown curtails Readymix profits

Irish concrete and cement group Readymix, has revealed that pre-tax profits were flat at €25.7m euro last year, mainly because of a 'considerable slowdown' in construction activity in the Republic of Ireland.

The company also revealed that market conditions in Northern Ireland, as well as those in the Isle of Man and British operations, were more stable.

Group turnover was down four per cent at €222m, while earnings per share were nearly unchanged at just under 20 per cent.

The company also noted a slowdown in the residential sector, despite a record year for housing completions.

The company said the rate of cost increases moderated in 2001, but still remained high while it cited employee costs, insurance and an increase in the price of cement.

For the year ahead, Readymix predicted that construction activity might decline further in the first half, but the outlook for the second half was more positive. (MB)

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