ROOFING and insulation firm SIG today estimated it lost around £30 million of sales after cold weather brought construction activity to a standstill.
Sheffield-based SIG warned that economic conditions and the snow disruption which impacted the UK and mainland Europe meant that results for the first six months of the year were likely to be well below a year earlier.
However it may retrieve the lost sales over the coming months and said results were likely to be more weighted towards the second half of the year.
The guidance came as SIG announced a sharp drop in profits for 2009, following a year it described as "exceptionally challenging". Sales in the UK slumped 20.6% to £1.32 billion, offsetting a more resilient performance in mainland Europe after an increase of 2.4% to £1.38 billion.
The company, which cut 1,774 jobs and closed 72 branches during 2009 in order to save £65 million, reported underlying profits before tax of £60.6 million, a fall of 55.9%.
Restructuring charges and other one-off items meant it posted bottom-line losses of £55.3 million.
SIG said the actions taken by management had boosted efficiency and meant the company was well positioned to deal with the likelihood that a number of its markets will continue to weaken in the coming months.
Chairman Les Tench said: "The extreme cold weather conditions and snow experienced across the UK and mainland Europe in January and February have resulted in a particularly slow start to trading in 2010.
"It is management’s expectation that the shape of the year is now more likely to be significantly more weighted towards the second half and that the pre tax profit for the first six months will be well below the result for the equivalent period last year."
SIG, which stands for Sheffield Insulations Group, was founded in 1956 and listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1989. Shares fell by more than 5% today.