Knauf Insulation UK, the St Helens-based insulation manufacturer has reported a rise in sales to £161m for 2017, up on 2016’s £156 million.
For the year to 31 December 2017, the company reported turnover of £161m compared to £156m the prior period.
Gross profits were up from £28.6m to £34.2m, but pre-tax profits showed a reduction, from £24.1m to £18.3m.
Last year saw the company’s first full year since Knauf’s sale of its production facilities in France and Hartlepool, in a move considered to be an “important development in the history” of the business. Continuing its strategy of re-investingt across its operations last year, the company expressed cautious optimism about the market outlook for its business.
“The construction industry recovery has broadened from just private housebuilding into commercial, industrial and infrastructure sectors, albeit growth rates have softened with continued uncertainty over Brexit negotiations,” Knauf reports. “Our strong relationships with customers and end users mean we can benefit from this market growth.”
“In summary, the board remains cautiously optimistic about volumes in its core markets and further long-term growth in new-build construction,” the company states.
Knauf reports it is “investing heavily” in the recommissioning of its furnace and production line improvements at its Cwmbran plant, which means a temporary pause in production until next year.
Referencing the post-Grenfell context and carbon zero targets for construction, the company report added, “The missing piece in the jigsaw is a clear policy framework from government to deliver the country’s medium to long-term commitments to carbon reduction, along with improvements in regulations to improve the quality of buildings.”
Earlier this year, Knauf Insulation and Veolia launched a £10m glass recycling partnership to reclaim approximately 60,000 tonnes of glass bottles and jars a year.