Beast from the East hits SIG

Insulation giant SIG '‹said it expects a stronger second half of the year after poor weather conditions in the UK hit sales in February and March.

SIG CEO Meinie Oldersma

Much of the country was brought to a standstill during the Beast from the East snow and freezing cold weather, which had a big impact on construction.

Sheffield-based SIG said ​like-for-like revenues ​fell 4.4​ per cent​ in the UK & Ireland​ in the first four months of 2018 f​ollowing​ a significant adverse impact from poor weather conditions in the region during February and March.

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The ​group's ​Exteriors business ​was also hit by weak market conditions in UK commercial new build and ​the Repair, Maintenance and Improvement​ (RMI​)​ markets​.

SIG will tell shareholders at its AGM in Sheffield at noon today that group revenues from continuing operations increased by 2.2​ per cent in the first four months of the year​, with currency contributing 2.0​ per cent​ to growth.

The ​g​roup's Mainland Europe ​business ​continued to perform well, with ​like-for-like​ revenues up 3.8​ per cent​ during the period. Whilst construction activity in France has been affected by the recent increase in industrial action, and ​​like-for-like​ sales in the ​g​roup's Air Handling business are dependent on the phasing of project revenues during the year, growth remained strong across Germany, the Benelux and particularly Poland.

​SIG said t​rading conditions remain mixed across the ​g​roup's markets, with continued confidence across Mainland Europe and Ireland but ongoing challenges in parts of the UK construction sector.

​The group told shareholders: "We continue to progress our plans to deliver a significant improvement in our operational and underlying financial performance, as well as focusing the portfolio and reducing leverage.

​"​We expect a stronger second half to the year, reflecting both normal seasonality and the benefit of ongoing cost and margin actions coming through in ​the second half​.

​"​Providing there is no further deterioration in UK market conditions, our expectations for underlying profitability for the full year remain unchanged.​"​