Distribution giant SIG plc, the parent company for SIG Insulation and SIG Interiors, has reported that sales in the UK and Ireland have jumped more than 7% between July and October compared to the same period in 2013.

SIG issued its Interim Management Statement this morning for the period July to October 2014 which revealed that the Group’s like-for-like (“LFL”) revenues increased by 1.7% compared to the prior year as SIG continued to outperform the market. LFL sales were ahead by 7.2% in the UK and Ireland but down 3.2% in Mainland Europe.

In the statement to the Stock Exchanger SIG said: “In the UK and Ireland SIG continued to benefit from strong construction markets particularly in the residential sector, with LFL sales increasing by 6.5% in the UK and by 21.6% in Ireland.”

Trading conditions in Mainland Europe, particularly Germany and Poland, weakened due to the deteriorating macroeconomic environment, not helped by political uncertainties in Ukraine. As a result LFL revenues in the period declined by 4.1% in Germany and 9.8% in Poland.

In France SIG again performed very strongly compared to the market, which is experiencing double-digit declines in new housing starts, although LFL sales declined by 2.9% in the period.

SIG is continuing to make good progress on its strategic initiatives and it announced a further increase in the Group’s 2014 net benefit target to at least £8m. These additional savings are being derived mainly from procurement improvements.

The strong growth in the UK and Ireland, accelerated savings from the Group’s strategic initiatives and improving gross margin are expected to partially mitigate the effects of weaker European markets. As a result, SIG continues to expect a year of good progress, albeit slightly lower than its previous expectations.