Tuesday 26 March 2019

Kingspan founder and now chairman, Eugene Murtagh's 17pc stake in the firm has rocketed in value yet again in the past year to well over €1.1bn. The shares have risen more than ten-fold since 2009. Its annual sales are approaching €3.5bn, with profits heading for €400m, and it is growing through acquisitions and building new factories across the world. It recently invested in a controlling stake in Isoeste, a Brazilian insulated panel manufacturer, adding to others in Colombia and Mexico aimed at positioning it as a market leader in South America. Shares are up about 20pc this year.

Helping to drive this is the company's expansion into other green construction technologies including LED lighting, fuel and energy storage, solar panels, hybrid energy systems and small wind turbines. Tesla-driving son Gene now runs the business, which sponsors Ulster Rugby. The Murtaghs also own the Hempel Hotel in London, another in Amsterdam and Faxitron, a fast growing US medical X-ray technology firm that is valued at over €60m.

There is also an investment in probiotic supplements maker Deerland Enzymes. Gene's architect brother Damien, meanwhile, has a hobby building kit business called Arckit.

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