- Building materials company CRH lifted its guidance on annual performance after reporting that first-half profit doubled, driven by a positive underlying backdrop in both North America and Europe.

'Based on current trading conditions and the positive momentum that we see across our markets, we expect second-half Group EBITDA to be ahead of a record prior year,' the company said.

For the six months ended June, pre-tax profit rose to $1.0 billion from $0.5 billion year-on-year as sales climbed 15% to $14.0 billion.

Following continued 'strong cash generation and consistent with our progressive dividend policy, the board has decided to increase the interim dividend to 23.0 cents per share, an increase of 4.5% on prior year,' the company said.

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