SIG predicts a brighter future

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Europe’s leading specialist building products distributor, Sheffield-based SIG, says it is confident of achieving good progress in 2014 on the back of efficiency savings, strategic initiatives and trading prospects.

Chief Executive Stuart Mitchell says last year was a year of contrasts, with the first half affected by poor weather and weak market conditions and trading improving as the year progressed.

Mr Mitchell was speaking after the Sheffield Business Park-based group reported pre-tax profits of £2.1 million for 2013, down from £43.7 million in 2012, on revenue up at £2,7 billion from £2.6 billion.

“We’ve had a good start to 2014, helped by the mild weather and weak comparatives, and implementation of our strategic initiatives to improve business performance is gaining momentum,” said Mr Mitchell.

“There is a significant step-up in activity and investment this year, with meaningful payback expected from 2015 onward, and a net annual benefit target of around £30 million by 2016.

“We expect construction activity in the UK residential market to remain buoyant, with the non-residential sector continuing to be broadly flat. In mainland Europe construction markets are anticipated to be variable.”

SIG says revenues in mainland Europe benefited from the stronger Euro, increasing by 3.8 per cent to £1,3 million, but were down by 1.5 per cent on a like for like basis.

Having successfully rebranded its UK insulation and interiors business, SIG now plans to further optimise its existing UK branch network and streamline and rebrand its market-leading roofing business, which currently trades under 40 different brands across the UK.