SIG estimates first-half profit to fall after long, harsh winter

July 9 Tue Jul 9, 2013 2:31am EDT

July 9 (Reuters) - Building materials supplier SIG Plc said first-half profit would be lower than the prior year, hurt mainly by a harsh and longer-than-usual winter, and added that it had taken actions to lower costs to support full-year profitability.

The company, which supplies insulation, roofing and specialist construction materials, said underlying pretax profit was likely to be in the range of 29 million pounds to 31 million pounds ($43.3 million-$46.3 million), compared with 35.5 million pounds a year earlier.

SIG, which operates in the UK and several countries in mainland Europe, said sales from continuing operations fell 3 percent on a constant currency basis, hurt by general weak market conditions and the extended winter.

An especially long winter in Europe saw exceptionally cold weather and frosts up to Easter in early April.

"There are signs that market conditions are starting to improve in the UK, although construction activity in Mainland Europe remains weak," SIG said in a statement.

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