Ireland's CRH will cease operating what it described as "infinitesimally small" Russian operations and has temporarily shut its much larger plants in Ukraine, the world's second-biggest building materials supplier said on Thursday.
CEO Albert Manifold told Reuters the investment in concrete panel and readymixed plants in Saint Petersburg would barely stretch to €1.5 or €2 million and a withdrawal from the Russian market was on its radar anyway.
The Dublin-based group - the biggest producer of asphalt for highway construction in the United States - reported 2021 full-year core earnings of $5.35 billion (€4.8 billion) on Thursday, up 11 per cent on a like-for-like basis.
In November, it had forecast earnings of more than $5.25 billion.
"We have infinitesimally small businesses in Saint Petersburg, literally four or five machines in individual plants. It was just a satellite office," Manifold said in a telephone interview.
Companies around the world have taken action to limit, put on hold or exit business activities in Russia following a wave of sanctions imposed after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. CRH said it made its decision to exit last weekend.
Manifold said CRH had locked up its Ukrainian operations, which contributed 1 per cent to its $31 billion of revenue last year and is supporting its 820 employees in any way it can.
The world's largest buyer of cement said order books were up year-on-year across all products so far in 2022 and that it is well positioned for another year of progress. -Reuters