Kingscourt, Ireland — Kingspan sales were 'sluggish' in the first quarter of 2018 because of 'a prolonged winter in many regions', according to a trading statement.
Long winter slows Kingspan sales in Q1 2108
Group sales were up 8% in the first three months of 2018 at EUR 895m. Ignoring sales which came with acquired businesses and currency effects, sales were up 1%, the company said.
The UK market was 'tough', mainland Europe 'relatively stable' and the US and Americas 'generally positive,' the company added.
The Brazilian market is bouncing back from the doldrums of earlier years. It had 'strong' performance in the quarter. Australia 'performed solidly', while sales in the Middle East have picked up,
The company's insulated panels business sales were up 4% on the first quarter of 2017. However, the UK's performance lagged on Q1 2017. Mainland Europe was generally good, but Germany disappointed in the quarter. North American sales performance was described as 'lacklustre.'
The insulated boards division's sales were up 7% but, strong growth at the start of the quarter eased as it progressed. In the UK inflation helped to drive sales revenue up. In the rest of Europe, sales were tough because of 'significant levels of inventory in the system throughout the industry.'
Looking ahead, order backlog 'points to a good second quarter,' Kingspan said. It added that its increasingly diverse product and geographical mix should 'leave it well positioned' for 2018.
Kingspan issued the statement ahead of a regular shareholders meeting held, today in Dublin.