Building materials supplier SIG reported a good start to 2014, helped by the mild weather and weak comparatives with last year when bad weather hit trading.
The Sheffield-based group said 2013 was a year of contrasting halves with a challenging first six months when the group was hit by poor weather and weak market conditions, but trading improved in both as the year progressed and the firm delivered a good second half performance.
Stuart Mitchell, SIG’s chief executive, said: “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 £30m 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.
“The trading outlook, operational efficiency savings and a modest net benefit from our strategic initiatives give us confidence in achieving good progress in 2014.”
SIG said full-year underlying pre-tax profit rose 5.3 per cent to £88.1m.
The company said in January it expected a full-year profit of at least £85.8m. Analysts had expected a profit of around £82m.
Following charges associated with its restructuring, losses on derivative financial instruments and losses on the sale of businesses, the group made a pre-tax profit of £2.1m.
Revenue for 2013 rose 4.4 per cent to £2.58bn, falling short of the average estimate of £2.69bn.