Home News SIG returns an operating profit and reduces debt

SIG plc has revealed its half year results for the six months ended 30 June 2021 which has revealed continuing recovery with the like‐for‐like sales of £1.1 billion, up 33% on prior year, and 1% up on 2019.

SIG achieved operating profit of £13.6m in the first half, a sharp turnaround on the loss of £42.9m last year. Profit Before Tax came in at £3m although after tax it reported a total loss of £8.1m and again did not declare a dividend. It ended the period with net debt on a pre IFRS basis of £57.5m, down from £90m a year ago.

In the UK SIG Distribution showed continued progress in regaining market share, delivering underlying revenues of £239.3m (H1 2020: £154.9m), a LFL increase of 54%. Despite supplier shortages and material allocations, specifically around plasterboard, daily sales show consistent progress. The improved trading volume drove a substantially lower loss, with the business driving the additional volumes through the existing capacity in the network. This resulted in an underlying operating loss of £5.4m (H1 2020: £27.4m loss).

The UK Exteriors business benefitted from strong demand, and saw underlying revenues rise to £199.2m (H1 2020: £125.3m), a LFL increase of 58%. The increase in revenue, further benefitting from an increased margin due to rebates and mitigation of input price increases resulted in an underlying operating profit of £7.9m (H1 2020: £8.6m loss).

Steve Francis, SIG’s chief executive, 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.

“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.”

Andy Murphy, Director at Edison Group, commented: “SIG has made strategic progress on recovery and invested in people, the business model and its service offering. It has added experienced MDs in Germany and Benelux which means that all countries now have an MD, rebuilt the UK leadership team with new experienced hires, added 86 commercial or branch managers in UK Distribution, added training programs in France and Poland and increased focus on H&S across the Group.”

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