DUBLIN, April 24 (Reuters) – Ireland’s CRH announced an additional 350 million euros in share buybacks and forecast growth for the year after the building materials group reported a 7 percent rise in first-quarter sales on Wednesday.

The world’s second-biggest building materials supplier by market capitalisation launched its first share buyback programme in a decade last year and had completed the repurchase of 1 billion euros of shares by the end of March.

On Wednesday citing its strong balance sheet and cash generation it said it planned to buy back a further 350 million euros of shares before it reports its half-year results on Aug 22.

The Dublin-based company expects mid-single digit percentage growth in core earnings in the first half of the year helped