Irish Builder Forecasts Slow U.S. Year, Pre-Tax Profit Increase

Dublin–Although Irish building material company CRH, which operates in 30 countries, said its growth this year may slow, the company expects its 2007 pre-tax profits to be up 19 percent, according to The Telegraph.Pre-tax profits were forecast at £1.4 billion after the U.S. housing market declined, which was counteracted by cost cuts, higher material prices and continued growth in Europe.Although Dublin-headquartered CRH anticipates tough times in the U.S. housing market this year, just 30 percent of its U.S. business was exposed, according to Chief executive Liam O’Mahony.CRH spent £1.6 billion in the past year to purchase a Swiss builder and other new business. O’Mahony said CRH could spend more than £1.5bn on acquisitions this yearThe company’s results are due to be reported on March 4.