SIGnalling a return to a brighter future

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Leading European specialist building products distributor SIG has recorded pre-tax profits of £7.5 million for 2011 after losing £80.8 million in 2010.

The Sheffield group increased sales from continuing operations by 7.8 per cent to £2.8 billion and is proposing to pay a total dividend of 2.25p, after not paying a dividend last year.

SIG has cut debt from £185 million to £116 million, helped in part by selling its UK safety and workwear, scaffolding and interiors manufacturing businesses.

Chief executive Chris Davies said: “We are pleased with these results and the progress we are making.

“I would highlight in particular the success of our organic growth strategy, with new branches moving into profitability more quickly than anticipated.

“During 2011 the group delivered on a number of key objectives. Operationally, we continued to outperform the market while improving gross margins and securing additional efficiency savings.

“Strategically, we increased focus on our three core markets of insulation and energy management, interiors and exteriors by divesting non-core operations.

“Financially, we improved returns and further strengthened our balance sheet. We enter 2012 as a much leaner, stronger and more focused organisation.

“Given the current uncertainties in the macroeconomic environment, we continue to expect market volumes to be slightly down overall in 2012.

“However, we have a solid platform on which to build and are targeting further market outperformance, with new branches expected to make a significant contribution to future growth.”