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Kingspan sales drop by a third with profit down £10m

Irish building materials firm Kingspan Group saw a 33 per cent drop in 2009 turnover to £1 billion from £1.5 billion, the firm revealed today.

Pre-tax profit in the year to 31 December 2009 fell to £51 million from £61 million.

Insulated panel sales volumes in the UK, Ireland and Western Europe were down 33 per cent, with particular weakness in the speculative development segment.

Access floors sales volumes were down 31 per cent globally, however, margins improved from 14 per cent to 17.5 per cent.

The group entered the Australian thermal insulation market with the acquisition of AIR-CELL Innovations in December, complementing Kingspan’s already growing insulated panel business in that region.

Net debt at the year-end totalled £147.8 million, down from £269.5 million. 

Kingspan chief executive Gene Murtagh said: “In 2009 we experienced a set of global challenges never encountered before by the business.

“In the circumstances, the company delivered a robust and resilient performance having responded to the challenges by overhauling our cost structure and focusing on cash generation.

“Excellent progress has been made in debt reduction which positions the company with one of the strongest balance sheets in the industry. While the year ahead will present continued challenges, there is now tangible evidence of stability emerging with conditions becoming more predictable than in the recent past.

“Globally, energy conservation initiatives continue to gather pace which will play to the group’s strengths.Coupled with the strong actions taken to date, it leaves Kingspan in good stead as markets regain stability.”