By Liz White, UT staffCavan, Ireland-Irish construction materials group Kingspan plc reported first half sales of Euro 580 million, 32 percent up on the first half of 2004. Operating profit was Euro 67 million, a 54 percent increase over H1 2004. The group's first half results statement said it had a "strong underlying performance before acquisitions with sales up 20 percent and operating profit up 41 percent."Kingspan's insulated panels business in the UK continued to gain share from site-assembled alternatives, the group said, adding that general volumes in central and eastern European rose marginally despite a construction market decline of 5 to 7 percent.The group said it has continued acquisitions, to enhance a "primarily organic" growth model, and spent €137 million in H1 in: off-site residential; foodstore/coldstore panels; and environmental containers.Kingspan's greenfield plant in Hungary has been commissioned and is at about 30 percent capacity utilisation, the firm added. We continued to deliver on our stated strategy of maintaining good organic growth enhanced with complementary acquisitions of a bolt on and in-fill nature," said Gene Murtagh, Kingspan's chief executive officer, in the statement. "Against the background of a robust Irish market, an evolving UK construction market and improving Central European and US markets, the Group anticipates a satisfactory outcome for the year as a whole," Murtagh added. "