Shares in Kingspan jumped over 8% today after it announced a full year profit of €508.2m for 2020, a rise of 2% year-on-year, despite a fall in revenue.

The building materials group had sales of €4.6 billion last year, down 2%, as sales of its products fell in the second quarter due to the halt in construction during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However Kingspan said it saw a rebound in sales in the second half of the year, which allowed it to repay the Covid-19 supports it had received in a number of countries.

This morning Kingspan also announced that Eugene Murtagh would step down as chairman and non-executive director at its annual general meeting this year.

Mr Murtagh founded the company in 1965 and has been involved ever since, serving as CEO until 2005. 

Independent non-executive director Jost Massenberg is set to be appointed as non-executive chairman following Mr Murtagh's retirement.

Results

Over the full year, sales of Kingspan's insulated panels, which account for the majority of its revenue, fell by 4%. Meanwhile sales of its insulated boards were down 10%.

Sales of its light and air products grew by 36%, in large part due to a number of acquisitions made during the year.

In its results today Kingspan also outlined the steps it had taken in response to the fatal Grenfell Tower fire in England, in which some of its insulation was used.

It said it had no role in designing the cladding system that allowed the fire to spread quickly, that its K15 insulation made up around 5% of the insulation used and that the use of a different material - not produced or supplied by Kingspan - was the primary reason for the rapid spread of the fire.

However its CEO also described the conduct of some of its UK employees as "unacceptable".

He said it had taken steps to ensure that safety was its priority, including governance, management and process changes.

Kingspan has previously admitted to shortcomings in its testing and marketing of the insulation.

That included it using outdated tests to suggest that the product was safe to use in high-rise buildings.

Shares in the company moved higher in Dublin trade today.

Commenting on today's results from Kingspan, Goodbody Stockbrokers said the stock offers material long term value at current levels.

"We continue to view Kingspan as very well placed to serve the clear necessity for energy efficient building solutions over the long term," the stockbrokers added.