Kingspan sales up nearly 20% to hit £2.7bn in first nine months this year

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY EL­LIE DON­NELLY

KINGSPAN, the Ir­ish build­ing ma­te­ri­als and in­su­la­tion group em­ploy­ing 400 peo­ple in North­ern Ire­land, has re­ported sales of €3.18bn (£2.7bn) in the nine months to Septem­ber 30.

This rep­re­sents an 18% in­crease year-on-year.

Sales in the third quar­ter were up 24%. Un­der­ly­ing sales, pre-cur­rency and ac­qui­si­tions, were up 4% in the year to date, ac­cord­ing to a trad­ing up­date from the group.

Kingspan En­vi­ron­men­tal has large premises in Por­ta­d­own, Co Ar­magh.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Gene Murtagh said: “Over­all, our end mar­kets are rea­son­ably sta­ble and, while our or­ders-on-hand are strong, we re­main cog­nisant of the gen­eral sense of ner­vous­ness pre­vail­ing glob­ally.

“As­sum­ing cur­rency ex­change rates re­main rel­a­tively con­stant and, con­scious that much of the sea­son­ally vari­able fourth quar­ter is still at play, we ex­pect to de­liver full year trad­ing profit of around €440m (£384m), or growth of ap­prox­i­mately 15%.”

Look­ing at the dif­fer­ent seg­ments, in­su­lated panel sales in the first nine months in­creased by 20%.

The group said that its main­land Eu­ro­pean sales were “solid” in most mar­kets, helped by the Syn­the­sia and Balex busi­nesses that were re­cently ac­quired, which Kingspan said were “per­form­ing to plan”.

In the UK, in­su­lated panel sales mo­men­tum im­proved through the third quar­ter, but ac­tiv­ity on the medium and smaller project sizes re­mained sub­dued.

Mean­while, the Americas con­tinue to per­form strongly “both in sales and or­der place­ment”, ac­cord­ing to the Ca­van-based busi­ness.

In­su­la­tion board sales in the first nine months of the year were up 13%. In this seg­ment the group said that main­land Eu­ro­pean sales have been a lit­tle sub­dued as it pri­ori­tises mar­gin over vol­ume.

Net debt at the end of Septem­ber 2018 was €878.4m (£767m). Net debt at year end is fore­cast to be in the re­gion of €750m (£655m).

Ear­lier this month, it emerged that the group was mak­ing up to 20 staff re­dun­dant at its Por­ta­d­own site as it pre­pares to close its so­lar tubes man­u­fac­tur­ing line.

The firm has also sold a spe­cial­ity door com­pany in the US for an es­ti­mated €5m (£4.4m).

Kingspan En­vi­ron­men­tal Ltd said the de­ci­sion to close its so­lar tubes line fol­lows con­tin­u­ing losses within the so­lar man­u­fac­tur­ing op­er­a­tion, as well as an in­crease in raw ma­te­rial costs. “Kingspan, which em­ploys 400 peo­ple in North­ern Ire­land, has no­ti­fied those af­fected of its de­ci­sion which may see up to 20 staff made re­dun­dant,” said the group.

“Kingspan re­grets hav­ing to take this de­ci­sion and will work with ev­ery­one con­cerned on re­de­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

In the US, Kingspan has sold Her­cules, a man­u­fac­turer of con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment doors, to Sen­neca Hold­ings, Cincin­nati.

The lat­ter man­u­fac­tures and dis­trib­utes doors in­clud­ing traf­fic, cor­ro­sion-re­sis­tant, strip, cold stor­age, fire, and slid­ing doors.

Al­swinn Kieboom, pres­i­dent of Kingspan In­su­lated Pan­els, said that Kingspan will con­tinue to pro­vide Her­cules doors as an in­te­gral part of its of­fer­ing.

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