Kingscourt, Ireland — Kingspan sales in 2017 were up 18% to EUR 3.7bn and trading profit grew by 11% to EUR 377m, according to a company statement.
Kingspan sales up 18% in 2017, profits up too
Highlights included 17% growth in sales of insulated panels.
This business sector experienced positive performance in Continental Europe, and a solid outcome in North America, the company said. 'This was despite a sharp slow-down in the UK towards year end.'
This sector had sales of EUR 2.4 bn up from EUR 2bn in 2016.
The company's insulation board business unit experienced a 'structural shift' to phenolic boards and a 12% increase in sales. This was a result of significant price inflation, the company said.
Raw material price inflation was a key theme during 2017, it said, and supply eased towards year-end, although prices remain high into the current period.
This sector had sales of EUR 769m up from EUR 688m in 2016.
Looking across the business, Kingspan said: 'In addition to volume growth, price inflation also contributed to sales as we pushed to recover unprecedented raw material cost increases.'
The company added that it had successfully recovered high raw material prices from its own customers, but its higher selling prices came at the cost of some market share to alternative products, which over time it expects to regain.
The penetration of high-performance insulation continues in France, Benelux and the Nordics, Kingspan said. Capacity increases in Germany made that market very competitive.
In North America, sales performance was moderately ahead, and Latin America 'grew meaningfully' through new ventures in Colombia and Brazil.
The company added that its exposure to 'exciting new frontiers', including Latin America and Southern Europe, grew in 2017.
The company purchased two PU board makers in December, Synthasia of Spain and Balex Metal of Poland. The company also bought control of Brazil's Isoleste Constructivos Isotermicos in September 2017.
During 2017, the company bought 51% of Panelmet. This company makes PIR insulated panels in the free trade zone on the outskirts of Variante Cartagena, Colombia. In early August, Kingspan said it had started making PIR board in Mexico City.
Gene Murtagh, Kingspan's CEO, said: 'The challenge of increased input costs has been managed to minimise the impact on profit margins. Notwithstanding the weakening UK market, our diversified business is well placed for the longer term.'