Interiors firm says harsh winter was partly to blame for 2% fall in sales

Interiors and products specialist SIG saw sales fall by 2% in 2010. It said sales were hit by severe snow in the UK and mainland Europe during November and December.

In a trading update in advance of full year results to be released in March, the company said sales were expected to be around £2,690m, a slight fall from the 2009 figure of £2,744m.

It said that wintery conditions at the end of 2010 disrupted its activities.

SIG said: “Sales at the end of November and throughout December were affected by the severe winter weather conditions in the UK and Northern & Central Europe causing heavy disruption to construction activity.”

The statement said that the company still expects underlying profit for the year to be at least £61.3m.

Housebuilding in the UK, France and Germany turned “modestly positive from a low base” while commercial development continued to fall, but at a slower rate.

It said: “After a steep fall in 2009, private sector non-residential construction activity experienced a slowing in the rate of decline in the second half of 2010, while public sector construction work continued to benefit from significant government investment programmes throughout the year.”

In an outlook statement, SIG said: “The Board expects to see 2010’s modest growth trend in residential building continue in 2011 and the decline in commercial construction to level out in H1 2011.

“However, government expenditure cuts are expected to cause public sector new construction activity to decline as the year progresses, counteracting mild growth in the private sector.”