Sheffield-based building materials supplier SIG expects to see profit improvement despite the impact of material shortages and cost price inflation

Building materials supplier SIG said it expects to see profit improvement in the second half of the year, despite the impact of material shortages and cost price inflation.

SIG employs approximately 6,500 employees across Europe and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Sheffield-based SIG has announced its half year results for the six months ended 30 June 2021.

The company said its "return to growth" strategy has gathered momentum, with the UK operation delivering profits, and France and Poland enjoying record first halves

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The company also said that the impact of material shortages and cost price inflation had been successfully managed to date.

The underlying profit before tax was £3.0m, compared with a £53.8m loss in the first half of the previous year.

Trading in July and August had remained solid, strengthening the board's confidence in its full year outlook despite caution over ongoing impact of material shortages and cost price inflation. Continued profit improvement is expected in the second half of 2021 and full year underlying operating profit is anticipated to be ahead of prior expectations.

Commenting, Steve Francis, chief executive officer, said: "I'm delighted with the progress of our Return to Growth strategy: our customers, supplier partners and colleagues continue to affirm that our focus on empowered and entrepreneurial local teams, delivering exceptional service and expertise to our customers, is a successful approach for building back our market share and profitability.

"The strong revenue growth across our broad product offering, together with disciplined margin management, has been key to delivering an earlier and stronger profit than previously anticipated.

"The achievements to date have only been possible because of our teams' energy, resilience and commitment in the face of the continually challenging circumstances, both with the effects of Covid-19 and the more recent industry-wide supply challenges.

"Trading in July and August has continued to be solid and we expect continued profit improvement through H2 2021, despite the ongoing impact of material shortages and cost price inflation. As a result, providing the disruption from these headwinds does not worsen, we now anticipate full year underlying operating profit will be ahead of our prior expectations.

"The momentum behind our Return to Growth strategy is positioning the group well, and we have growing confidence in our ability to take advantage of both strong near‐term demand and healthy long‐term fundamentals, including market tailwinds from sustainability initiatives. The continued strength of our balance sheet, along with the positive trading momentum, provides a strong platform for sustainable, profitable growth and cash generation."

SIG plc is a leading European distributor of insulation and interiors products and merchant of roofing and exteriors products.

SIG employs approximately 6,500 employees across Europe and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.