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Building materials group CRH posted a 4 per cent rise in quarterly sales at the start of 2017 on the back of steadily improving conditions in the US and mild weather conditions.

In a first quarter trading update, the FTSE 100 group said its like-for-like sales rose 3 per cent in the three months to the end of March, in line with forecasts, helped along by a steady recovery in construction in the US after a disappointing 2016.

The Dublin-based group, which does 65 per cent of its business in the Americas, said it expected its first half ebidta to come in ahead of last year’s €1.12bn.

But it warned that a still “challenging” market in the Philippines would weigh down on its Asia performance in the first six months of the year.

European sales rose 6 per cent, “supported by stabilising trends in certain key markets and by the timing of Easter holidays which occurred in the first quarter of 2016″, said CRH.

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