Brussels - Belgian foam group Recticel increased sales in all divisions during the first half of 2007, to reach total sales of Euro 794.7 million, 7.7 percent above sales in the same period of 2006. Its insulation business - specifically the building industry - showed the strongest sales growth, at 32.4 percent. And the group said it succeeded in more than doubling its net profit, to Euro 15.8 from Euro 6.3 million, compared to the same period last year. Recticel said the good insulation sales growth, "is attributable to the impact of growing social awareness in the energy and environment field and to standards being tightened up, among other factors." Earnings (EBITDA) rose by almost 14 percent, with the biggest improvement in bedding and insulation. Recticel said that, on a comparable basis, sales rose by 4.64 percent.The most important changes in the scope of the business are the integration of Icoa, Spain (flexible foams since 1 April 2006) and integration in the joint venture Proseat (Automotive) of the Woodbridge UK seating activities (since 1 March 2007).In its biggest division, flexible foams, Recticel reported increased sales in both comfort and technical businesses, particularly in central and eastern Europe where it saw "impressive increase in volumes."But the composite foam business was affected by a fall in market prices for trim foam, which the group reports "had been very high until a couple of months ago." The group says it made "considerable efforts" to develop the industrial network for conversion of rebond or composite foam into new products and uses, and said that this "led to the desired results and good performances within this segment."In July, Recticel finalised the take-over of Finnish companies Espe and Ewona with joint annual sales of about Euro 25 million, in Finland and Estonia. According to Recticel, "this expansion consolidates Recticel's market position in northern Europe."Recticel comments that its profitability in flexible foams was maintained "despite the sharp fall in the selling prices of trim foam and the decrease in results in Spain, the Netherlands and the UK in the 'comfort' segment." It adds that it expects "to face low prices for trim foam," throughout this year. Profitability in 'technical foams' progresses as a result of innovation in foam types and foam products, highlighting launch of a new 'Body Foams' product at the Interfiliere Fair in Lyon (France) in September. 'Body Foams' is based on "unique, light-resistant Bulfast foams," said Recticel, and are intended primarily for applications in ladies' lingerie.Breakdown of sales by business line in million Euro Flexible foams 335.5 +6.8%Bedding 189.9 +6.2%Insulation 68.8 +32.4%Automotive 238.8 +5.2%Eliminations (38.2) +2.3%Total 794.9 +7.7%"