Sheffield’s SIG: £2.7bn revenue, £106m loss, new CEO

Sheffield-based European building products distributor SIG unveiled a new chief executive on Tuesday as it said its 2016 revenue rose 11.2% to £2.74 billion but it made a statutory loss before tax of £106.3 million amid impairment charges at its French roofing business Larivière.

SIG said Meinie Oldersma will join SIG from Brammer Limited as group chief executive in April.

SIG’s full year dividend will be cut to 3.66p from 4.6p.

SIG shares rose about 7% to around 115p, giving it a stock market value of roughly £680 million.

SIG said it delivered underlying profit before tax of £77.5 million in 2016, down 12.5%, but its “transformational change programme, while taking the group in the right strategic direction” distracted the business during the year.

“This resulted in a loss of customer focus and impacted performance,” said SIG.

“Leverage has risen above an acceptable level and specific performance challenges were seen in SIG Distribution, the UK insulation and interiors business, and in the offsite construction business in the UK.

“SIG has identified that it needs to balance better its change programme with the day-to-day operations of the group. 

“Since November, therefore, SIG has reassessed its internal initiatives in order to free time so that branches can refocus on customers and drive sales growth. 

“As a result, SIG has slowed or stopped a number of initiatives … 

“SIG has also reviewed its cost base to eliminate duplication and reduce discretionary expenditure.

With some supplier price inflation being seen … the group will continue to drive its procurement programme in order to help mitigate margin pressures.”

Mel Ewell, currently interim chief executive, will revert back to being a non-executive director of the company.

SIG chairman Leslie Van de Walle said: “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Meinie, who will bring his considerable and relevant experience to SIG.

“Meinie brings over 30 years of distribution experience and a strong customer focus to SIG.

“He has lived and worked in a number of locations throughout Europe and has driven successful transformations of complexity and scale in a variety of organisations.

“He has a track record of driving sales, as well as turning around and growing businesses.

“Together with the recent arrival of Nick Maddock as chief financial officer, this completes the recruitment of the executive team to take the business forward.”