Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Business News

SIG gets caught cold as extended winter takes effect


The wrong kind of chill hit trading at SIG, one of Britain's biggest insulation and roofing firms, during the first half of 2013.

The company's pre-tax profit fell to £30.2m during the first six months of this year from £35.5m in 2012.

It was a performance which was "adversely affected by the extended winter and weak market conditions", according to SIG's chief executive, Stuart Mitchell.

The extended winter across Europe saw like-for-like sales slip 3.5 per cent and Mr Mitchell said that SIG had reacted to the cold weather with "prompt action to reduce fixed and discretionary costs".

"Trading improved in May and June," he added, "as the weather reverted to seasonal norms and July was consistent with this trend."

SIG also said its British operations were hit by the slow start-up of Green Deal, the Government's struggling scheme to make all homes more energy efficient.

"Although the UK construction market as a whole declined during the first half, there were signs towards the end of the period that conditions were starting to improve, driven by increased activity in the residential sector and the Government's Help-to-Buy scheme," SIG added.

"However, the non-residential sector remained relatively weak due to a lack of demand in both the public and commercial sectors."