Marshalls profit hit as sales slow
Published: 12 March, 2010
HUDDERSFIELD: Marshalls, which manufactures paving slabs, bollards and benches, last week reported falling sales as spending on pavements and patios slowed.
Revenues fell 17.6% to £312m, while pre-tax losses for the year to 31 December tightened to £2.4m from £4.5m in 2008.
Underlying operating profit fell 46% to £16.4m after stripping out exceptional costs in both years, which in 2008 included £12m in plant closure fees and a £9m write down.
Graham Holden, chief executive, Marshalls said that the group, which in May launched a £34m rights issue, was braced for at least two or three years of tough trading and could absorb further declines.
In the domestic market, which accounts for about 40% of Marshalls' sales, the company said it was seeing some signs of improvement and reported a slightly stronger order book against the same period last year.
The group was also positive about the early signs of a recovery in the house building market, which is beginning to thaw on the back of improved consumer confidence and better mortgage availability.