Macfarlane eyes more deals after jump in profits

Macfarlane boss Peter Atkinson

Macfarlane boss Peter Atkinson

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Packaging group Macfarlane today reported a 52 per cent surge in first-half profits and said it was eyeing more acquisitions to help deliver further growth.

The Glasgow-based firm, which earlier this month bought East Midlands rival One Packaging in a deal worth up to £2.75 million, posted a pre-tax profit of £1.9m for the six months to the end of June, up from £1.2m a year earlier.

Turnover rose 12 per cent to £78.6m and shareholders will receive a 6 per cent increase in their interim dividend to 0.53p a share, to be paid on 15 October.

Chief executive Peter Atkinson said: “The results have primarily been driven by our packaging distribution business, which represents 80 per cent of total group sales, and broadly half the increase has come from the benefit of acquisitions, with the rest from organic growth.”

Atkinson said sales to internet retailers accounted for 19 per cent of Macfarlane’s business in the first half, up from 16 per cent a year ago.

Clients include Home Retail Group, owner of the Argos, Habitat and Homebase brands, as well as The Hut and Selfridges.

The acquisition of One followed the takeover last year of Lane Packaging and Network Packaging, and finance director John Love said the group continued to look for “value-enhancing opportunities”.

He added: “We’ve got a pipeline of potential acquisitions that we’re looking at, and we would like to do another small acquisition in packaging distribution before the end of the year.”

Macfarlane employs about 750 people, including about 110 north of the Border, where it also has a labels business in Kilmarnock and distribution operation in Glasgow.

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