Distribution giant, SIG plc, issued a trading update covering Q1 2018 in advance of its Annual General Meeting yesterday and revealed that the UK and Ireland suffered a decline in revenues by more than 4%, however, revenue from its European operations grew 3.8%. Overall SIG group revenues from continuing operations over the period 1 January to 30 April 2018 increased by 2.2%, with currency contributing 2.0% to growth and working days 0.5%. 

Like for Like (LFL) revenues were down by 4.4% in the UK & Ireland, with a significant adverse impact from poor weather conditions during February and March. The Exteriors business further suffered from weak market conditions in UK commercial new build and RMI markets, as previously indicated.

The Group’s businesses across Mainland Europe continued to perform well, with LFL revenues up by 3.8% during the period. Whilst construction activity in France has been affected by the recent increase in industrial action, and LFL sales in the Group’s Air Handling business are dependent on the phasing of project revenues during the year, growth has remained strong across Germany, the Benelux and particularly Poland.

Trading conditions remain mixed across the Group’s markets, with continued confidence across Mainland Europe and Ireland but ongoing challenges in parts of the UK construction sector.

A Company statement said: “We expect a stronger second half to the year, reflecting both normal seasonality and the benefit of ongoing cost and margin actions coming through in H2. Providing there is no further deterioration in UK market conditions, our expectations for underlying profitability for the full year remain unchanged.”