Tougher regulations and expansion into Central Europe lifts pre-tax profit at Kingspan to £25.4m.

Pre-tax profit at product manufacturer Kingspan Group rose 32.5% to £25.4m for the six months to June 30 2004.

The Group said that sales of its insulation products were being driven by tougher regulations and standards relating to energy efficiency and fire protection. Sales for its insulation products rose by 26.8% and insulated panels by 23.2% over the period.

Kingspan said: “There is an ever increasing pressure on architects and specifiers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which can be best be achieved by designing energy efficient buildings. This will impact favourably on sales of Kingspan’s insulated panels and products in the UK and Irish markets.”

Kingspan announced that it would be establishing a new £8.15m plant in Hungary following rapid growth in the insulated panel sector in Central Europe. The Group said that sales in the region accounted for 18.6% of its panel sales only six years after it moved into the region.

The Group also said it had invested in its Off-Site division to counter the “very mature” structural products market. It said that it was aiming to be a key player in the off-site sector working with PFI companies in the education, healthcare and single-living accommodation markets.

Interim turnover was up 15.5% to £298.5m and interim dividend was up 31%.