Bad weather results in 'sluggish' start to 2018 for Kingspan
Cavan-based insulation giant Kingspan has reported a "sluggish" start to 2018.
The group has been impacted by a prolonged winter season in many regions, which it says resulted in markets being slow to get moving.
In particular Kingspan highlighted the UK market where it described conditions as "tough overall."
Like Ireland, the UK was battered by Storm Emma earlier this year.
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In Ireland the group said that it has had a good start to the year reflecting growth in the residential sector.
In a statement ahead of its AGM today the group said that it had incurred sales €895m for the three-month period to 31 March, an 8pc increse on the prior year.
The group said that mainland Europe has been relatively stable in the three month period, while in the Americas the US was generally positive, and Canada showed signs of recovery from last year.
Sales of insulated panels were up 4pc year-on-year in the three month period, with the UK whilst still trailing 2016 sales, improving somewhat in recent weeks.
Meanwhile insulation board sales were up 7pc year-on-year in the three month period, while environmental sales were also up 6pc during the period.
However sales of the company’s access floors were down 11pc, with sales in the UK were behind in the quarter. In the US access floor sales were broadly flat year on year.
As at 31 March Kingspan, which reported profits of €377.5m for 2017, had net debt of €698m, an increase of €234m from the position at last year end, which it said reflected the completion of the acquisition of Synthesia in March and the seasonal investment in working capital.
Describing its funding position as "robust" Kingspan has €660m of committed undrawn facilities and cash balances.
Looking ahead and the group said that its order backlog across the group points to a good second quarter.
In addition, the group said that its acquisitions completed both last year and more recently are performing well and to plan.
However the group warned that its trading margin percentage for the first half of this year will be lower than the same period last year on account of the mix of markets and activity, and the initial impact of acquisitions.
"Notwithstanding the present trading environment, the group remains well positioned for the year as a whole and for the longer term given the breadth of our product mix, our extended geography and the ongoing advancement of our high-performance technology," Kingspan said.
The group will issue its half-year financial report for the period ended 30 June 2018 on August 24th.