SIG’s prospects are improving

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Specialist building products distributor SIG is predicting profits marginally up on expectations after boosting sales by nearly eight per cent to £2,740 million.

The Sheffield-based European sector leader says, in a trading update, that it has benefited from the mild weather towards the end of the year, compared to the exceptionally severe conditions the previous year.

SIG expects underlying pre-tax profit will be “marginally above the upper end of the range of analyst expectations” of £80.4 million, when it announce its preliminary results in March, while net debt is likely to have fallen from £163 million at the end of June to around £120 million.

The group adds that it has identified additional annual cost savings of £5 million, principally by further rationalising its branch network.

SIG says it expects to continue to gain market share through branches opened in recent years and other growth initiatives.

Following the retirement of John Chivers from the group, SIG has streamlined its management structure and promoted Robert Barclay from being managing director of SIG Distribution to the new post of managing director for the UK and Ireland.