Global building materials group CRH has reported sales of €13 billion for the first six months of this year - that was up 2% on the same time last year.

Earnings were 5% ahead at €1.175 billion.

Gerard Moore, Head of Irish Research with Investec Bank Ireland said CRH would likely be satisfied with the results.

"This was in line with what the market was looking for. They've paid down debt by €700 million and it now stands at €6.4 billion."

He said the standout announcement from today was the disposal of CRH's entire America's distribution business for $2.6 billion to a US company.

"CRH is a company that has been built up through acquisitions. It's started to do some disposals, but this is a big disposal, even for CRH."

"I don't think this is a case of CRH trying to turn itself into a European only business, or trying to turn itself into a business that focuses on cement or aggregates, but when it sees good value, it's not afraid to sell the business and reinvest elsewhere," he explained.

Gerard Moore said foreign exchange is an issue for CRH given that half of its business comes from the US, but it's maintained its outlook for the year.

He said the first half of the year had generally been a good trading period for Irish listed companies with some delivering strong results.

"Despite some broader macro concerns, on the whole, companies continue to deliver. There were a few standout results, like Kingspan last week, which took markets by surprise, despite concerns around Brexit," he concluded.