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SIG first-half profit hit by project delays in winter

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By Reuters

(Reuters) – Construction materials supplier SIG Plc <SHI.L> on Friday reported a 21.8 percent fall in first-half underlying pre-tax profit as builders delayed projects because of Britain’s long, icy winter.

SIG, which operates across the UK, Ireland and Europe, said underlying pre-tax profit fell to 26.9 million pounds in the six months ended June 30, from 34.4 million pounds, a year ago.

“The first half did not provide the trading backdrop we wanted, with significant challenges in the UK market as a result of the poor weather in the early months of the year and continuing macro uncertainty,” Chief Executive Officer Meinie Oldersma said.

Revenue rose 1 percent to 1.36 billion pounds in the first half from a year earlier.

SIG, which supplies insulation and roofing products, said underlying operating profit from the UK and Ireland fell to 14.2 million pounds from 637.8 million pounds a year earlier.

“The first-half results were both disappointing and encouraging. The UK result, in part caused by the poor weather but also weak underlying market conditions, left group PBT (profit before tax) down 7% on an underlying basis. European activity was much better,” Peel Hunt analysts said.

SIG maintained its full-year expectations, amid ongoing challenges in the UK construction sector as growth in British construction activity slowed in August after reaching a two-year high the month before.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Samantha Machado in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)