H1 revenue at Sheffield’s SIG up 4.7% to £1.44bn

Sheffield-based European building products distributor SIG said its statutory revenue rose 4.7% to £1.44 billion in the six months to June 30 but it made a statutory loss before tax of £10.7 million compared to a £38.4 million profit for the same period last year.

SIG said the loss included £49 million of “non-underlying items.”

The firm said its underlying profit before tax (PBT) fell 20% to £38.3 million.

SIG’s new chief executive Meinie Oldersma said: “In the first half of 2017 the business delivered underlying PBT in line with guidance. 

“Although lower than the first half of last year, as previously indicated, it represents an increase on H2 2016, providing some evidence that business performance has stabilised. 

“However, there remains considerable work to be done to improve returns over the medium term.

“Following management actions taken in the first half to strengthen the group’s balance sheet we have made good initial progress on our key short-term priority to reduce leverage, which has decreased to 1.6x (net debt to EBITDA)

“We will continue to focus on leverage reduction in order to deliver our targeted range of 1.0 – 1.5x during 2018.

“Following my appointment as CEO, I commissioned a comprehensive review of the group’s strategy, use of capital and cost base. 

“The initial phase confirms that the business has real opportunity to improve profits and returns over the medium term, but also highlights the execution challenges in delivering these upsides. 

“We intend to report progress from this review in Q4 2017.

 “In terms of outlook the key risk is the challenging environment created by macro uncertainty in the UK, although this may partly be mitigated by continuing improvement in confidence in Mainland European markets.  

“However, we continue to expect the business to show a stronger second half (excluding H1 property profits) and our expectations for the full year are unchanged.”