Construction materials specialist SIG plc has reported first half sales and pre-tax profits down but in line with management expectations.
Sales in the first half of 2010 were £1,291m, down 4% on the first half of 2009. In the UK and Ireland sales were £633.7m, down 5.0% on the same period a year ago.
Underlying profit before tax was £18.5m, a decrease of 16% on the first half of 2009, with operating profits for the UK and Ireland was £14.9m, a fall of 18% on 2009’s figures.
However, the group reports that trading conditions improved in the latter part of the first half of 2010 following the extreme weather experienced in all of the Group’s areas during the first quarter.
Les Tench, SIG chairman, said: “Although overall sales trends since the end of the first quarter have been encouraging, SIG’s management remains cautious on how its markets will develop over the next few months.
“This caution is based on the continuing macroeconomic uncertainty and concerns about the potential impact of government austerity measures and credit availability on the timing and path of the construction markets’ recovery.
“Accordingly, across the Group’s businesses the focus remains on driving through the operational benefits of the major restructuring changes made over the last two years, protecting and enhancing SIG’s strong market positions and gross margins, and making further cost savings as appropriate, to rebuild profitability.”