British building insulation business SIG expects to see an improvement in its Irish operations in the second half of this year.
The group, a rival of Cavan-based Kingspan, has reported a 14% year-on-year jump in like-for-like sales for its Ireland operations covering the first six months of 2021.
However, when compared to pre-Covid first-half 2019 levels, its Irish sales were down 21%.
On a group-wide basis, SIG — which, as well as Ireland, operates in the UK, France, Poland, Germany, and the Benelux region — said first-half sales were up 33%, year-on-year, but only rose 1% against 2019 levels.
“Our Ireland business was affected by the significant Government restrictions imposed on construction from January 1, 2021, to the end of April, and we expect to see improved growth in the second half,” said SIG.
SIG will publish detailed first-half results in September and expects them to show an underlying operating profit of around £13.5m (€16m).
SIG said its return to profitability in the first half was “faster and more significant than previously expected” and that it was seeing strong demand levels as of the halfway point in the year.
The group said it is confident about its prospects for the rest of the year, but has warned of the potential of some supply chain pressures.
Barring any significant disruption, it still expects the second half of the year to be both profitable and cash generative.