SIG set for big profits after Europe deals

From left: Philip King, Institute of Credit Management CEO;  Simon Johnson, SIG director of UK credit management and Richard Myatt, SIG UK finance director
From left: Philip King, Institute of Credit Management CEO; Simon Johnson, SIG director of UK credit management and Richard Myatt, SIG UK finance director
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Sheffield’s biggest company, building materials supplier SIG, has bought two European companies as it continues to grow, helped by demand for energy-efficient buildings.

The FTSE-250 company, which has a global turnover of £2.7bn, has acquired French flat roof business Sodimat SAS for £3.5m. The firm is based in Lyon.

In a statement, SIG said: “This infill acquisition is in line with the group’s strategy of expanding its French roofing business, Lariviere, in the South of France, and strengthening its offering in flat roofing, which SIG believes to be an attractive segment of the market.”

Sodimat SAS was sold by the Sitbon family who founded the business.

SIG also recently bought Dutch air conditioning firm Inatherm for £6m. It said the acquisition would strengthen its position in the European air handling market, where it already has a significant presence through Air Trade Centre and Ouest Ventil. Inatherm is owned by the current management team who will remain with the business and join SIG.

It comes after the company made eight acquisitions last year, mostly in the roofing materials business and most of them in Britain.

SIG reported a 9.4 per cent jump in revenue from continuing operations in the first four months of 2014, as a string of small acquisitions mitigated the impact of a strong pound.

And it expects a strong profit growth for the first half, bolstered by a robust recovery in the UK construction sector, its second largest market.

The company said it expected underlying pre-tax profit for the six months to June 30 to increase to at least £40m from £33.6m a year earlier.

Meanwhile, SIG’s distribution business has successfully been re-accredited to the Quality in Credit Management award from the Institute of Credit Management.

It recognises companies achieving the highest standards in credit management in the UK.

The team, based at Sheffield Business Park, Sheffield, scored the highest ‘best in class’ scores achieved so far as part of the process, which is currently held by 40 companies.

Simon Johnson, SIG director of UK credit management, said: “I am immensely proud of my team who, despite being in the middle of a very challenging new system implementation, devoted the time and energy to this accreditation renewal.”