CRH chief Albert Manifold’s pay hits €12.1m as group exits Iseq

Annual report notes Manifold (61) is working closely with board on the design of long-term chief executive succession process

CRH chief executive Albert Manifold’s remuneration jumped 17 per cent to $13.2 million (€12.1m) last year as the building materials and services group’s earnings and share price surged.

Shares in the company soared 64 per cent over the course of 2023 in London on the back of earnings growth and as investors cheered its decision to move its main stock market listing to New York from the UK, which also resulted in it exiting the Irish stock market last September.

US-listed companies typically trade at a premium, relative to earnings, to companies quoted on exchanges in Europe. Eventual inclusion on the key S&P 500 stock market index should further boost demand for the stock, according to market observers.

Mr Manifold’s basic pay of $1.85 million was topped up by $7.95 million of stock awards and a $2.49 million bonus, according to CRH’s latest annual report, published on Friday. He also enjoyed a $857,367 boost in pension value and so-called nonqualified compensation earnings, it added.

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The package for last year was just shy of his peak annual compensation of $13.4 million in 2021, which also marked a record for the head of an Iseq-listed company.

The annual report said Mr Manifold, who turns 62 later this year, but whose contact now has an indefinite duration, is “working closely with the board on the design and operation of the long-term chief executive succession process”.

Group chief financial officer Jim Mintern’s remuneration rose to $5.93 million last year from $4.61 million for 2022.

CRH shares soared to a record high of $84.91 on Wall Street on Thursday – valuing the group at $58.5 billion – as it continued to benefit from the release at the end of last month of a strong set of full-year results and outlook for this year as well as the group’s plan to spend $35 billion over the next five years on deals, investment and payments to investors.

In the decade since Mr Manifold took charge of CRH, the company’s market value has soared 300 per cent, fuelled by an acceleration of a reshaping of the group from being a provider of base materials such as cement, aggregates and asphalt to one involved in planning, design, engineering and contract services for infrastructure and commercial building projects.

Over this time, CRH has acquired $25 billion of businesses, while selling off $13 billion of underperforming or unwanted assets, including its low-margin builders merchants businesses in Europe and the US.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) rose 15 per cent last year to $6.2 billion. CRH sees earnings rising 5.6-10.5 per cent this year, to $6.55 billion-$6.85 billion.

The company dropped its Dublin stock market listing last September as it took out a primary quotation on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has surged since then, helped by increased optimism about infrastructure spend in the US and Europe, talk of central banks cutting interest rates this year, and as the company enjoyed more attention from US-based investors.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times