Belfast Telegraph

SIG boss Stuart Mitchell leaves as firm warns over profits

The boss of building materials firm SIG has stepped down as the company warned over profits following increased competition and a slowdown in activity in the wake of the Brexit vote.

The FTSE 250 company said group chief executive Stuart Mitchell had left by "mutual agreement" and would be immediately replaced by interim group CEO Mel Ewell until a permanent successor is found.

The announcement came as the firm trimmed its forecasts for underlying pre-tax profit, saying it will now come in between £75 million and £80 million for the year ending in December.

SIG, which supplies insulation and roofing products, saw group revenues rise 10.6% in the four months to October compared to last year, thanks in part to a 8.9% boost from currency fluctuations .

However, like-for-like group sales slipped 0.8% over the period, as the firm also came under pressure from project delays in the commercial sector.

Speaking about Mr Mitchell's departure, chairman Leslie Van de Walle said: "I would like to thank Stuart for his commitment and all that he has contributed during his four year tenure as group chief executive.

"Stuart brought together a loose federation of independent businesses; developed a new strategy and plans to improve our procurement and supply chain functions; and identified new areas of organic growth opportunities in air handling and offsite."

Shares in SIG crashed more than 20% when the London stock market opened.

On its performance, the firm said: "Following a slowing of activity around the time of the EU referendum, trading conditions in the UK have continued to soften and competition in the market has intensified.

"In particular the group has been impacted by delays to some projects in the commercial sector and subdued demand for technical insulation in the petrochemical and manufacturing sectors."