Growth at construction product supplier resumes for the first time in three years sparking fresh confidence in markets

Construction products supplier Kingspan has seen profits grow for the first time in three years prompting renewed confidence of an upturn in the UK and European markets.

In its half-yearly results to the end of June the company reported an increase in operating profit of 9% to just over £27m on a turnover of £457m, down slightly on the same period last year.

The firm said despite the severe and prolonged winter, which impacted on activity in all its markets, its order book picked up considerably in the second quarter, particularly in June. 

Results show a resumption of growth in its UK insulated panel market, with orders up 14% on the first half of last year, as well as strong growth in the US and central Europe for panels.

Insulation sales have also grown by 12% and the firm acquired the Australian insulation business Air-Cell which it says will help deliver a solid second half.

However, its environmental and renewable business saw sales remain flat, mainly because much of the market is derived from new build home construction in the UK.

Gene Murtagh, chief executive officer, said: “We are encouraged to have resumed profit growth again for the first time in three years. Positive trends in first half order intake across the business point to a robust and solid outcome this year and together with the substantial progress made in lowering costs and debt, there is now scope to restore an interim dividend to shareholders”.

He added that the firm remains mindful that recent global macro indicators remain cautious and mixed, while input price increases will present their own challenges in the months ahead.