Kingspan overhauls insulation arm after Grenfell disaster


Kingspan PLC (LON:KGP) has apologised for what it says was “unacceptable employee conduct at its UK Insulation Boards business”  in the run-up to the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Witnesses at the official inquiry into the fatal fire have accused the company of hiding the results of fire tests on its K15 product used at Grenfell and ignoring safety concerns.

In a statement alongside results for 2020, Kingspan said it “apologises unreservedly once again for these shortcomings which are not consistent with its values or its commitment to conduct its business to the highest safety standards”.

The group added that it was implementing widespread changes to its insulation board division practices, including the publication of all fire test reports, and would act on recommendations by legal firm Eversheds Sutherland.

Gene Murtagh, chief executive, said: “The unacceptable conduct and historical process shortcomings, involving a small number of employees in our UK insulation boards business, do not reflect the high standards of integrity and safety that are core Kingspan values, deeply held by our people.”

Kingspan has always insisted it had no role in the design of cladding used on Grenfell Tower and that the K15 product supplied for the building constituted 5% of the insulation used.

“It was used without Kingspan’s knowledge in a system that was not compliant with the buildings regulations and was unsafe,” the building materials group repeated today.

The firm said that the ACM cladding material cited as the principal reason for the spread of fatal fire was neither manufactured nor supplied by Kingspan.

Results for the year to end-December showed revenues fell 2% to €4.6bn (£4.0bn), while profits increased 2% to €485mln.

The Ireland-based group also resumed dividend payments with a 20.6c payment, though going forward said it will reduce the amount it pays to 15% of earnings from 25% previously.


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