SIG cuts losses

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Leading European specialist supplier of insulation, exteriors, interiors and specialist construction products, SIG, has started paying dividends to shareholders again after boosting revenues and cutting pre-tax losses.

The Sheffield-based group is paying an interim dividend of 0.75p a share after increasing revenue by 10 per cent to £1.34 billion and raising underlying operating profits by more than 50 per cent to £43.5 million.

Pre-tax losses dropped from £2.2 million to £600,000, which turned into a £1.7 million profit after tax for the six months to the end of June.

Chief executive Chris Davies said: “We are pleased with our first half performance in markets that continue to be competitive.”

Mr Davies said the improvement was down to strategic initiatives to improve performance through greater operational efficiency, upgrading its portfolio and growing the business.

SIG had streamlined its cost base, while protecting sales distribution channels and service, sold businesses in order to focus more on its core operations and invested in future growth by opening new branches, focusing on the faster growing market in continental Europe and renewables and energy management.

Mr Davies warned that growth in the second half was likely to moderate, due, in part, to a weaker economic backdrop and the effect of public sector spending cuts in the UK, but added that SIG was well placed to make progress and had resumed dividend payments as a result.

SIG has announced that finance director Gareth Davies is planning to leave the company now that its restructuring is largely complete and finances have been restored to what it describes as ‘a very sound condition’.

Gareth Davies has been with the company for 18 years, the last nine as finance director.

The company says he is looking for new challenges to further his career, but will stay with SIG until he has handed over to whoever is appointed as a successor.