Britain's Most Admired by sector: Building materials and merchants


1 Kingspan 58.4
2 Saint-Gobain 56.3
3 CRH 55.7
4 Travis Perkins 53.4
5 Marshalls 51.3

Kingspan, based in Cavan, Ireland, tops this troubled sector for the second year running. The depth of the industry's woes can be judged by the fact that even our winner endured a 35% revenue crash, with profits down two-thirds to EUR25m, and made 2,000-plus layoffs. The world's largest building materials group Saint-Gobain jumps four places to second, while Irish asphalt specialist CRH manages a de-cent third. After raising EUR1.25bn in spring, CRH is hunting for bargains as more highly leveraged rivals seek to sell assets. Having favoured efficiency savings over branch closures, fourth- placed Travis Perkins should be in a strong position for the recovery.

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