Kingspan 6 month pre-tax profits increase despite slowing Europe economy

Building materials group Kingspan has reported pre-tax profits of €44.5m for the six months to the end of June.

That’s an increase of 22% from the €36.2m posted this time last year.

The company has said the first six months of 2012 were characterised by a relatively strong first quarter.

But this slowed considerably towards the middle of the year due to weak sentiment in Europe, driven by ”interminable political indecision”.

Revenues for the six month period rose by 3% to €757.4m, while the company’s trading profits rose by 19% to €52.7m.

The Cavan based company has declared an interim dividend per share of 5 cent, an 11% increase on the same time last year.

Kingspan said it saw robust performances in both the insulated panels and insulated businesses in the UK where, despite a lacklustre backdrop, sales few by 1%.

Its North American businesses also performed ”satisfactorily” across both insulated panels and access floors, with Australasia growing well.

But Kingspan said its Western Europe operations were ”hamstrung” by an unusually weak construction environment in the Netherlands. Germany, however, performed well as did the core central European markets.

Sales declined in Russia and Turkey during the first half of the year.

Sales revenue in its insulated panels division rose by 3% to €361.1m while operating profits jumped 25% to €27.1m from €21.7m. But sales revenue in Ireland fell by 13% while volume decreased by 9% as the market slipped further downwards.

Kingspan said that revenues at its insulation boards division rose by 4% to €232.1m from €222.6m while trading profits grew by 7% to €15.5m from €14.5m. Sales volume again declined by 18% as the wider construction market dipped further.

It said that refurbishment and the Kooltherm product are the main drivers for the business with newbuild housing reaching a low of about 5,000 units a year.

Revenues at Kingspan’s access floors rose by 20% while trading profits for the six months increased by 31% to €8.9m from €6.8m. But revenues at its environmental business fell by 12% to €86.3m from €97.9m while trading profits were changed at €1.2m.