Home News SIG reports sales and margin rise for 2014

Distribution giant SIG plc has reported growth in the UK for the year to 31 December 2014. In an announcement this morning SIG revealed that like-for-like sales increased by 3.8% and a rise in underlying operating margin to 4.2%.

SIG said it began the year strongly increasing like-for-like (“LFL”) sales by 7.1% in the first half, with good growth in both the UK & Ireland and Mainland Europe. The Group’s trading performance then moderated in the second half, with LFL sales increasing marginally, by 0.8%.

For the year as a whole SIG delivered good LFL sales growth of 3.8%, with the Group experiencing marginal product price inflation of 0.1% and a volume increase of 3.7%. Given SIG estimates that the overall market was up by 1.0%, this equates to an outperformance of 2.8%.

Group sales from continuing operations were up 2.5% to £2,602.9m (2013: £2,539.7m), despite the adverse effects of foreign exchange translation, which reduced sales by 3.1%.

In the UK & Ireland revenues from continuing operations increased 11.3% to £1,336.2m (2013: £1,200.3m), and were up 9.2% on a LFL basis, having been driven primarily by strong demand in the UK and Irish residential sectors. In the UK LFL sales increased by 8.9% and in Ireland were up by 14.7%.

Underlying operating profit increased 8.8% to £110.2m (2013: £101.3m) and underlying operating margin was up to 4.2% (2013: 4.0%). On a statutory basis profit before tax was £39.0m (2013: £2.1m) and basic earnings per share were 5.6p (2013: loss of 2.5p).

SIG - Stuart MitchellStuart Mitchell, Chief Executive, said: “In 2014 SIG delivered good like-for-like sales growth of nearly 4% and improved its return on capital employed by 90bps, driven by a strong performance in the UK & Ireland.

“We anticipate that trading conditions will remain variable across the Group’s countries of operation in 2015, with continued good growth in the UK & Ireland and uncertainty persisting in Mainland Europe.”