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SIG losses double to £200m

25 Mar 21 Buildings materials distribution group SIG racked up losses of more than £200m before tax in 2020 but says its long period of decline is now over.

SIG’s results for the year ended 31st December 2020 show a pre-tax loss on continuing operations of  £202.3m (2019: £112.7m loss).

Revenue was down 13% to £1,872.7m (2019: £2,143.0m).

“We delivered a solid second half and have begun to return the business to growth after a long period of decline,” said chief executive Steve Francis.

Underlying revenue in UK Distribution, a specialist insulation and interiors distribution business, was down 33% to £357.4m (2019: £534.3m). The lockdown during March and April contributed to an underlying operating loss of £45.4m (2019: £7.9m profit).

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Despite a strong second half recovery, thanks to the RMI market, UK Exteriors, SIG’s Roofing and Building Solutions businesses, saw underlying revenue fall by 10.5% to £310.1m (2019: £346.5m) for the full year. It made an underlying operating loss of £7.4m (2019: £11.8m profit).

Trading in 2021 to date is in line with management expectations, the board said, and market fundamentals remain strong. “We now have the right structure in place for UK Distribution and revenue growth is starting to emerge as planned,” chief executive Steve Francis said.

“Continued uncertainty remains regarding Covid-19, as well as rising input prices and early signs of some potential materials shortages. However, providing there is no further material disruption to either our business or end markets as a result of the pandemic, the board expects the near-term benefits of the actions taken in 2020 to deliver organic revenue growth in 2021, including market share gains. The benefits of this will become increasingly evident as the year progresses and should enable us to return to underlying operating profitability and cash generation during the second half.”

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