Challenging trading conditions hit SIG

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Challenging trading conditions in the repairs, maintenance and improvement market have hit sales at building products distributor SIG.

The Sheffield-based group’s exteriors business, which sells roofing products, was hardest hit.

In a trading update SIG confirmed that sales at the exteriors division in UK and Ireland fell 5.9 per cent in the final quarter of 2015. In mainland Europe, like-for-like sales increased 1.8 per cent mainly due to a significantly improved performance in France, where like-for-like sales were ahead 2.5 per cent compared to a decline of 6.6 per cent in the previous quarter.

Germany however remains challenging, SIG said, with like-for-like sales down 3.1 per cent in the final quarter.

In line with previous guidance SIG says it continues to expect that gross margin will be flat year-on-year. The firm is also anticipating underlying pre-tax profit for 2015 to be within its previously stated £85m to £90m range.