SIG plc has revealed in a trading statement yesterday that sales during the first quarter of 2015 were flat, consistent with SIG’s Q4 2014 performance, and compared to the strong prior year period when like-for-like sales increased 9.3%. Group sales from continuing operations were down 3.6%.

In the UK & Ireland sales increased 2.8% in the period, with the UK ahead by 1.3% and Ireland up 20.8%. Following a good start to the year, the Group’s UK business slowed in March and April due to lower sales in its roofing division and a softer commercial market, with some industry commentators attributing this to uncertainty ahead of the General Election. Despite this, the Group continues to believe that the underlying construction market in the UK remains robust.

SIG says it continues to make strong progress on its strategic initiatives to improve business performance and has a high degree of confidence in achieving its target of a cumulative net benefit of at least £20m in 2015 and £30m in 2016, mainly sourced from procurement.

The Group outlook for 2015 as a whole however remains unchanged and it continues to anticipate making further progress.