Building materials group Kingspan has reported pre-tax profits of €44.5m for the six months to the end of June.

This is an increase of 22% from the €36.2m posted the same time last year.

It said the first six months of 2012 were characterised by a relatively strong first quarter.

But this slowed considerably towards the middle of the year due to weak sentiment in Europe, driven by ''interminable political indecision''.

Revenues for the six month period rose by 3% to €757.4m, while the company's trading profits rose by 19% to €52.7m.

The Co Cavan based company has declared an interim dividend per share of 5 cent, an 11% increase on the same time last year. 

Kingspan said it saw robust performances in both the insulated panels and insulated businesses in the UK where, despite a lacklustre backdrop, sales few by 1%.

Its North American businesses also performed ''satisfactorily'' across both insulated panels and access floors, with Australasia growing well.

But Kingspan said its Western Europe operations were ''hamstrung'' by an unusually weak construction environment in the Netherlands. Germany, however, performed well as did the core central European markets.

Sales declined in Russia and Turkey during the first half of the year.

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Sales revenue in its insulated panels division rose by 3% to €361.1m while operating profits jumped 25% to €27.1m from €21.7m. But sales revenue in Ireland fell by 13% while volume decreased by 9% as the market slipped further downwards.

Kingspan said that revenues at its insulation boards division rose by 4% to €232.1m from €222.6m while trading profits grew by 7% to €15.5m from €14.5m. Sales volume again declined by 18% as the wider construction market dipped further.

It said that refurbishment and the Kooltherm product are the main drivers for the business with newbuild housing reaching a low of about 5,000 units a year.

Revenues at Kingspan's access floors rose by 20% while trading profits for the six months increased by 31% to €8.9m from €6.8m. But revenues at its environmental business fell by 12% to €86.3m from €97.9m while trading profits were changed at €1.2m.

Mixed outlook on raw materials

On raw materials, the company noted that chemical prices continued to harden during the six month period, which hits the cost bas of its insulation businesses. Steel prices were more stable and may fall in the second half of the year.

''The macro backdrop in recent years has been variously described as challenging and uncertain,'' commented Kingspan's chief executive Gene Murtagh. ''This is the environment we now operate in, and we remain focused on what we can influence, continuing to make progress in that context,'' he added.

He said that, without looking too far ahead, it is likely that the group's trading environment for the rest of the year will weaken further from that experience in the second quarter. But he added that the group enters the second half of the year with a positive orderbook overall.

''Overall, the group will continue to drive its conversion approach with the objective of increasing market penetration for higher performance insulation and building envelope solutions,'' Mr Murtagh said.

Earlier this month, the company announced a deal to but the Thyssenkrupp Construction business, based in Germany. It also bought Rigidal Industries, based in Dubai.