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Sept. 6, 2019, 2:49 a.m. EDT

SIG says pretax profit slumps 73%

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By Adriano Marchese

SIG PLC (SHI.LN) said Friday that pretax profit fell 73% in the first half of 2019 due to higher costs.

The U.K. building materials supplier said pretax profit was 5.2 million pounds ($6.4 million) in the six months ended June 30, compared with GBP19.6 million during the same period a year earlier. On an underlying basis--the company's preferred metric which excludes exceptional costs--pretax profit before IFRS 16 was GBP30.0 million, up from GBP25.1 million in the first half of 2018.

Revenue in the period fell 7.9% to GBP1.27 billion. Like-for-like sales fell 3.8%, in part due to weaker market conditions, the company said.

The board has declared a interim dividend of 1.25 pence, unchanged from last year's.

SIG said that it has seen a marked deterioration in construction activity levels in the U.K., and it expects further weakening against the backdrop of the economic and political uncertainty. It said it is taking actions in anticipation of worsening conditions as it enters its traditionally strongest trading months of the year.

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