Insulation giant Kingspan has seen its sales activity in Ireland fall by over 80pc in April when compared to last year as the coronavirus pandemic shutdown building sites across the country.
Global sales decreased by almost 35pc during the month compared to the same period last year, according to a trading update from the group.
The Americas has been robust so far for the group, as has Germany and parts of Central Europe. However, France and Southern Europe have been particularly weak, Kingspan said.
In the UK activity is less than half what it was in April last year, but the company said Ireland – where sales fell substantially – was “a clear standout.”
As a consequence the company currently expect to record a result close to breakeven overall for April, which is a month of “significant profitability in a normal year.”
“This trading run rate is expected to persist through the coming weeks at the very least,” Kingspan added.
The company’s bank debt as at 27 April was €551m, this takes account of the acquisition of Colt during April.
The group has in excess of €1bn of cash on hand and committed undrawn facilities.
Meanwhile, group sales were €1.03bn for the three-month period to 31 March, 3pc down on 2019.
The current lockdown did not significantly impact activity for most of the first quarter, the company said.
During the three months the UK saw a pickup in order intake activity, while Mainland Europe was “solid overall”.
The Americas had a good first quarter and the Australasia and the Middle East regions both trended more positively on order intake.
Looking forward, Kingspan said the current crisis will “inevitably pass.”
“Whilst its duration and medium term impacts are unclear we are confident that the diversification of our end markets, the innovation of our high performance proposition, our balance sheet strength and the resolve of our people all position Kingspan well for the longer term.” Kingspan said.