Recovery ‘on track’ at Kingspan as sales jump 24%

Insulation manufacturer says outlook is ‘positive’ but remains cautious in uncertain environment

Kingspan chief executive Gene Murtagh

Kingspan chief executive Gene Murtagh

 

Irish insulation manufacturer Kingspan said on Monday that sales rose sharply in the first three months of the year as the company reported strong growth across its main markets.

The group, which manufactures high-performance insulation and building envelopes, said sales rose 24 per cent in the three months to March 31st to €1.28 billion. However, the business has been challenged by “significant” raw material inflation. Kingspan said it is doing its “utmost” to limit any impact on its own end markets.

Mainland Europe was strongly ahead during the first quarter, with Germany, France and the Benelux “notably positive”, while order intake in North America significantly outpaced sales in the period. The UK business was also strong in the three months with “buoyant sales” and order intake activity.

By business sector, insulated panels sales were up 25 per cent, with insulation boards up 12 per cent. Kingspan said the performance of the latter sector would be bolstered by the recently-announced acquisition of Logstor Group, a global supplier of technical insulation solutions focused on the growing district heating model and with revenues of about € 250 million.

Light and air sales were up a substantial 65 per cent (+8 per cent on an underlying basis) in the first quarter, boosted significantly by the acquisition of Colt Group in April 2020. Data and flooring sales increased by 11 per cent, with datacentre projects very active across Europe and North America.

Water and energy started the year well with sales 21 per cent ahead in the first quarter (+17 per cent underlying)

Net debt stood at €352 million as of March 31st, and the group has in excess of €2 billion of cash on hand and committed undrawn facilities.

Looking ahead, Kingspan said the outlook for the second quarter was “positive”, with ongoing strong momentum across most key markets.

“We have a strong backlog on hand which augurs well for the period ahead, although in the current environment we are cautious about looking too far forward,” the company said.