The Irish Times Business Person of the Month: Gene Murtagh

Insulation group Kingspan outperformed market expectations despite Covid-19

 

Gene Murtagh, chief executive of international insulation group Kingspan, has been chosen as The Irish Times Business Person of the Month for August.

Against the backdrop of the impact of Covid-19, the Kingscourt, Co Cavan-based company outperformed market expectations with its interim results.

While the pandemic led to an inevitable contraction in orders during the first half of the year, Kingspan’s profit performance beat analysts’ forecasts.

Its trading profit fell 13 per cent to €200 million in the first six months, down from €230.4 million a year earlier. But stockbrokers had predicted that Kingspan’s profits would fall by between €135 million and €175 million.

This led to a 9 per cent bounce in its share price on the day of the results, with the stock closing the month in Dublin up about 13 per cent.

In the second half of August, it emerged that Kingspan was acquiring Trimo, a Slovenian business that makes roofs and facades, and generates revenues of some €100 million a year.

Founded in 1996 by Murtagh’s father Eugene and his uncle Brendan Murtagh, Kingspan’s sales have jumped more than 300 per cent to €1.65 billion since the current CEO took charge in 2005 - as the group expanded its global footprint and products, aided by well-judged acquisitions.