Irish construction products group posts 66% fall in half-year operating profit

Irish building products group Kingspan has reported a 66% slump in operating profit for the six months to the end of June.

Chief executive Gene Murtagh said the combination of global recession and unprecedented credit restrictions had led to a contraction “not experienced in the lifetime of this business”.

Operating profit was €30.3m (£26.3m) in the period to 30 June, down from €90.1m (£78.2m) in the first six months of 2008. Revenue plunged 35% to €552.5m (£479.5m), compared with €849.4m (£737.2m) last year.

Gene Murtagh
Murtagh: "The focus for now continues to be on cash generation"

Sales in Ireland dropped by 67% while insulated panels, which account for 51% of the group's turnover, saw a 32% reduction in sales to €284m.

In a statement to the stock market, the firm said the impact of the recession in Ireland “ranks as the worst in Western Europe” and that recovery for the country was “some years away”.

Murtagh said: “The focus for now continues to be on cash generation and making further progress on debt reduction ensuring the group has the balance sheet strength to consider opportunities which will present themselves beyond the global contraction.”