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Kingspan posts record H1 numbers but warns of UK weakness ahead

Fri 23 August 2019 11:22 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Irish building materials group Kingspan reported a rise interim profit and revenue on Friday amid growth in all its divisions.

Pre-tax profit in the six months to the end of June rose to €208.9m from €177.6m the year before, with revenue up 12% to €2.2bn. This was a record on both fronts for the company, with trading \"generally positive\" across most of Continental Europe, bar Germany, which was a little weaker.

In the UK, the performance was robust, but Kingspan warned that weakness can be expected in the near term. Meanwhile, activity in the Americas was encouraging as penetration growth continues in North America, with solid organic expansion in Latin America.

The company, which said acquisitions contributed 8% to sales growth, lifted its interim dividend by 8% to 13cents a share.

Net debt during the half came in at €734.3m, down from €739.4m and return on capital employed was 17.1% versus 15.6% in the first half of last year.

Chief executive Gene Murtagh said: \"We have delivered a record first half with revenue growth in all our business units and a strong trading profit performance. We continue to expand our global production footprint with new facilities under construction in the US, Brazil and Sweden. The near-term outlook is solid although the political uncertainty in the UK, weakness in sterling, and weaker German economy are amongst risks we are monitoring closely.

\"Alongside today\'s results, we are also announcing a series of sustainability targets under our Planet Passionate Programme, which builds on the Net Zero Energy journey we started in 2011. Seismic transformations are required to address the growing issue of climate change, and we are committed to delivering on the challenging targets we have set ourselves.\"

At 1100 BST, the shares were down 2.3% at €42.50.

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