Business Person of the Month

August 2014: Albert Manifold, chief executive, CRH

By Business & Finance
28 August 2014
Albert Manifold, chief executive, CRH

Since Albert Manifold took the helm at CRH, revenue has increased and the firm has continued in invest in growing the company and through acquisitions.

In August, CRH plc, the international building materials group, issued its interim results for the six months ended June 30th. The results show that sales revenue increased by 4%, up 7% in Europe and up 1% in the Americas. Like-for-like sales were up 5% and EBITDA was 27% ahead of first-half 2013 results, reflecting strong operating leverage.

While dividend per share maintained at 18.5c, the company reported that a portfolio review is progressing well and a multi-year divestment programme of €1.5-€2bn is actively underway.

Speaking about the positive results, Albert Manifold, chief executive, said:“This year got off to an encouraging start with favourable weather in Europe and continuing recovery in the US. We are pleased with the strong operating leverage which is reflected in margin improvement for the period.

CRH invested €130m in acquisitions in the first half of the year and continued to focus on cashflow and capital expenditure outflows.

“Economic indicators continue to be positive in the Americas, while in Europe we have seen some easing of trends in recent months,” Manifold explained. “Assuming normal weather patterns and no major market dislocations, and with the benefit of contributions from acquisitions and cost saving measures, we continue to expect second-half Group EBITDA to be somewhat ahead of last year’s H2 2013 figure of €1.08bn.”

Albert Manifold assumed the role of Group chief executive on January 1st this year following the retirement of Myles Lee. Manifold has had an extensive career with the Group and has played a defining role in driving growth and investment for the company.

At the time of his appointment as CEO, CRH chairman, Nicky Hartery said: “Albert brings to his new role a deep knowledge of the industry and proven international executive experience. As chief executive, he will continue to develop and drive CRH’s strategic agenda, to deliver sustainable long-term value for shareholders.

CV highlights

  • Albert Manifold has been a Board member and CRH chief operating officer since January 2009.
  • He and was appointed Group chief executive in 2013 with effect from January 1st 2014.
  • Prior to joining CRH in 1998, he held the position of COO with a private equity group. He has held a variety of senior positions within CRH, including managing director of the Europe Materials Division and Group development director.
  • As CRH chief operating officer, Manifold has played a significant role in CRH’s response to the challenging economic and trading conditions of recent years and in furthering CRH’s development in emerging markets, particularly in Asia.

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Business & Finance, in association with MERC Partners, has been rewarding excellence in business through the ‘Business Person of the Month’ award over the last number of years. These awards seek to recognise noteworthy achievements in business leadership, and particularly those that make a telling contribution to the wider business community in Ireland.