Marshalls upbeat on material sales

Published:  07 January, 2011

HUDDERSFIELD: Building materials supplier Marshalls posted a 4% increase in revenue to £312m in a trading statement for the year ended 31 December 2010.

Much of the increase came from 6% growth in the public sector market that now accounts for 59% cent of Marshalls' sales. The domestic market increased by1%.

Despite the strong performance in the second half of the year, the company said it was badly hit by the poor weather in the last five weeks which it estimates cost £5m in sales or £800,000 of operating profit.

Its manufacturing operations in Scotland and the North East were disrupted, together with the group's quarrying activities.

Marshalls is optimistic about material sales and said: "Recent sales trends indicate that our markets have now stabilised and that our marketing and sales initiatives are delivering positive results. The short-term outlook remains encouraging with good order books and a positive order flow.

"Despite the difficulty in forecasting and the uncertainty as to the likely speed of recovery, the group has operational flexibility for the medium term and is well placed financially and operationally to respond to changing market conditions."

Marhalls view is in marked contrast to the Construction Products Association's latest forecast, which includes the impact of the Comprehensive Spending Review and recent weaker consumer confidence figures, that anticipate a 2% fall in construction output in 2011.

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