Insulation and building materials manufacturer Kingspan has reported a strong first quarter both in terms of sales and order intake, but said it was "cautious" about looking too far forward.

In an earlier than scheduled trading update, Kingspan said its group sales came to €1.28 billion for the three months to March 31 - 24% ahead of the same time last year.

The Co Cavan-based company said that significant raw material inflation was a key feature of the current trading environment and the associated recovery effort is ongoing and on track, although with a lag.

Kingspan said its mainland Europe markets saw a strong performance overall with Germany, France and the Benelux notably positive.

It also said its Americas business had an encouraging start to the year particularly in Latin America and order intake in North America significantly outpaced sales in the three month period.

The UK business has also been strong year to date with buoyant sales and order intake activity, it added.

Kingspan said its trading outlook for the second quarter is positive with ongoing strong momentum across most key markets.

"Furthermore, raw material inflation, and indeed availability of same, is increasingly a challenge and we are doing our utmost to limit any impact on our own end markets," it stated.

"We have a strong backlog on hand which augurs well for the period ahead although in the current environment we are cautious about looking too far forward," it added.

Shares in the company moved higher in Dublin trade today.