Insulation company 
left feeling the chill in 
challenging markets

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Insulation supplier SIG said challenging markets and the harsh winter weather have hit its performance during the first four months of 2013.

The Sheffield-based group said it does not expect to recover the shortfall in sales in May and June.

SIG, which operates in the UK and several countries in mainland Europe, said group sales per day from continuing operations fell about four per cent in constant currency in the four months between January and April.

The company, which supplies insulation, roofing and specialist construction materials, said European construction markets were affected by the harsh winter, which continued to the middle of April.

Mainland Europe sales per day in constant currency were down about 4.5 per cent.

Despite these poor conditions, SIG said it outperformed its markets in the first quarter by around two per cent.

It said this helped to mitigate some of the effects of the prevailing market environment.

In the UK & Ireland sales per day fell by 1.0 per cent excluding SIG Energy Management, which has been significantly impacted by the ending of CERT and the slow start for the Green Deal.

The group said that trading improved from mid-April onwards as the weather conditions reverted to seasonal norms, with group sales per day for April marginally ahead of last year in sterling terms.

Alongside the strategic initiatives which were outlined at the full-year results, the group said it is also reviewing its discretionary expenditure, with benefits expected in the second half of the year.

The group has bought four businesses this year for a combined total consideration of £13m.