SIG sees muted UK construction in 2013 on weak growth in Europe


LONDON — British building materials group SIG PLC announced more cost cuts to compensate for falling volumes across its European markets and said it was looking to a muted recovery in the UK’s construction sector next year. The company, which supplies insulation, roofing and specialist construction materials, posted a slight fall in first-half profit and flat sales on Thursday, which it said were hit by the weakening economy and adverse weather conditions.

The global construction sector has struggled to recover from the financial crisis, weighed down by government spending cuts and recession. Activity has particularly slowed in countries such as the UK and Ireland.

“There are some grounds for hoping that we’ll see the present double dip recession in the UK easing out as we get towards the end of this year,” Chief Executive Chris Davies told Reuters. “Hopefully we’ll start to see a little bit of growth in the positive direction in the UK and in some of our major countries in 2013. But it won’t be spectacular,” he said.