More CERT is needed.

Extend CERT scheme, says Superglass

Published:  29 April, 2010

STIRLING: Insulation maker Superglass is calling on whichever party takes power after 6 May to extend carbon emissions reduction target (CERT) scheme as a matter of urgency.

The company, which reported a return to profit in its interim results yesterday, highlighted the need to extend the UK Government's CERTscheme, under which utility companies subsidise customers installing energy-efficient technologies.

Alex MacLeod, who took over as chief executive of Superglass in November, said that extending the CERT scheme had cross-party support and should not depend on which party wins the election.

Mr MacLeod said sales had fallen by 16% in the six months to 28 February to £16.8m "due in large part to a temporary funding shortage in the CERT scheme". Sales through distributors and builders' merchants increased by 10% for the company over the first half.

The company will target the housebuilding sector – a new market for the company – and has signed up new customers, including CBA, one of the UK's largest builders' merchant buying groups, and insulation installer Miller Pattison, part of the London-listed SIG.

Mr MacLeod expects CERT to "significantly drive demand" for insulation from 2011 onwards, with stricter building regulations being introduced in October also expected to boost business next year.

He remains cautious about the outlook for the remainder of this year and said: "The fundamentals of the economic recovery remain uncertain and the temporary reduction in CERT funding is expected to continue through to the second half of 2010."

Superglass made a pre-tax profit of £400 000 after an interim loss of £200 000 last year. Profits before amortisation grew by £700 000 to £2.6m, boosted by a £1.1m fall in fuel costs and £700 000 saved through lower interest on debt.

Superglass also paid down its bank debt by a further £2.2m, taking the total to £19.5m.

Ken Rumph, an analyst at Nomura, said the group looked "fit for the upturn".

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