Kingspan sees sales jump to €719m since the start of 2015
Irish building materials and energy giant Kingspan has seen a strong start to 2015 with total sales rising by over a quarter to €719m.
In a trading update issued yesterday, Kingspan said it had performed well in the key US and UK markets and added that its sales in the first four months of the year represented an improvement of 28pc compared to the same period in 2014. Kingspan is also reaping the benefits of a weak euro, noting that its profitability has been "complimented" by "translations reflecting euro/Sterling and euro/USDollar exchange rates which are significantly better than the average rates of the last ten years".
The firm said its German operations had performed solidly while the UK was "trading well" and Eastern Europe was "relatively subdued". Net debt at April 24 was €398m, an increase of €273m from the position at the end of last year which reflects the €315m acquisition of Belgian company Joris Ide which was completed in March.
Kingspan now has €425m of committed undrawn facilities.
Looking ahead, the company said its order backlog points towards a strong first half for the business.
It said that this would be driven mainly by a continued promising performance in the UK and US in particular which accounts for roughly 40pc of group revenue, although this is countered partly by a flat Europe and impending weakness in Canada and Australia.
A statement from Kingspan said: "The combination of recent development activity, growing conversion, a strong innovation pipeline and the increasing emphasis worldwide on energy efficiency leave us confident about Kingspan's longer term future."
Goodbody Stockbrokers described the update as "strong" and said: "This demonstrates its [Kingspan's] ability to leverage organic sales growth in what are still cyclically depressed markets and to utilise a strong balance sheet to grow the business. These dynamics are set to continue and underpins our positive stance on the stock."