Sheffield giant SIG makes eighth acquisition as profits double

SIG Chief Executive Stuart Mitchell
SIG Chief Executive Stuart Mitchell
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Sheffield’s biggest company, SIG, has made its eighth acquisition this year as part of an aggressive growth programme which has helped profits double to £26.8m.

The construction sector giant, based on Sheffield Business Park, snapped up insulation business the Ainsworth Group for an undisclosed sum. It operates from six branches across the South, Midlands and Wales.

SIG Chief Executive Stuart Mitchell

SIG Chief Executive Stuart Mitchell

It is SIG’s eighth acquisition this year as part of a strategy to buy companies where it does not have a presence, called ‘geographic infills’.

So far this year, £46m has been spent on four UK roofing sector companies, three insulation firms and an air conditioning company in mainland Europe. It also acquired an interiors business in the Middle East.

Half-year results showed that revenues dipped for the six months to June 30, to £1.24bn from £1.31bn for the same period last year. But pre-tax profits doubled, from £11.8m to £26.8m.

Chief executive Stuart Mitchell said:”The first stage of the Group’s business transformation programme, to improve procurement, is increasingly embedded within SIG and delivering significant savings. The next stage, a review of our supply chain, is progressing well with findings to be presented towards the end of this year.

“Looking further ahead the Group is encouraged by the clear opportunities to improve efficiency in the business, particularly in procurement and supply chain, and to drive growth as our markets recover.”

The company - which employs 450 at three offices in Sheffield - distributes products to the building trade including insulation, roofing and interior walls.

It has more than 9,000 employees and 650 branches worldwide.

Starting out in Sheffield in 1957, it has grown into one of the biggest players in Europe and has a reputation for snapping up rivals, it bought 12 companies last year. Some £200m has been set aside for further acquisitions over the next three years.

It is also building a multi-million pound website and developing off-site manufacturing - where single room apartments are made in a factory - which is a “hot subject” , according to Mitchell.