SIG and Selco are the latest suppliers to commence the reopening of sites.

SIG, which shut the vast majority of its distribution centres on 20 March, has reopened some of its distribution and roofing locations. In a stock market statement this morning, the company said an increase in demand over the past week had prompted the move. As of today, 15 distributions sites that supply specialist material and 20 roofing-materials operations are open. It expects most of its sites to be reopened by the middle of next month.

The company also provided a brief financial update revealing it had £142m of cash in the bank as of last Friday.

Builders’ merchant Selco is expected to announce plans to reopen tomorrow. Chief executive Howard Luft said: “Sad to have been gone. This Friday Selco announces its return.” The company shut down all stores on 24 March after the government advised people to work from home where possible. Unlike some other merchants, Selco opted not run a click-and-collect service during the lockdown.

The two companies are the latest suppliers to announce reopening plans. Last week, Travis Perkins confirmed it was opening more of its merchant branches, running click-and-collect services. It had kept about a third of its merchant sites open during the lockdown.

Brick suppliers Forterra, Michelmersh and Ibstock have all made announcements in the past week about plans to restart production.

Meanwhile, insulation and building-envelope supplier Kingspan has also provided a trading update today, revealing that its global sales plunged 35 per cent in April compared with the same period last year. Activity has been particularly weak in France, Ireland, the UK and southern Europe, the firm said, with UK sales less than half of what they were in 2019.