Building materials group CRH has reported a positive start to the year with first quarter like-for-like sales 7% ahead of the same time last year.

In a trading update for the three months to the end of March, CRH said its sales volumes benefited from mild weather conditions and good momentum across most of its major markets. 

"Sales growth was also supported by pricing progress across all major product lines," the company added. 

CRH said that group EBITDA, for the seasonally less important first half of the year, is expected to be more than €1.5 billion.

CRH said that with normal weather patterns and without any major market developments, EBITDA in the second half of the year is also expected to be ahead of the same time last year.

The company added that despite ongoing Brexit-related uncertainty, EBITDA in its Europe Materials division is also expected to rise.

CRH today also announced a deal to sell its its European Shutters & Awnings business to StellaGroup for over €0.3 billion.

So far this year, CRH has spent about €0.2 billion on 16 bolt-on acquisitions / investments.

It said its Americas Materials division completed 11 bolt-on acquisitions and one investment for €120m and its Building Products Division completed four acquisitions for about €80m.