Glasgow packaging firm Macfarlane flags 'year of good progress' despite cost pressures

Macfarlane Group, the Glasgow-headquartered protective packaging provider, is expecting “another year of good progress” despite warning of continuing supply shortages and raw material price increases for the remainder of 2021.

In a trading update coinciding with its annual shareholder meeting, the firm also noted that two English acquisitions undertaken in recent months were “progressing well”.

On current trading, the group told investors: “Macfarlane Group has made a positive start to 2021, with sales in the first quarter 15 per cent ahead of the same period in 2020. Group profit for the year to date is also well ahead of that achieved in 2020.

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“We have grown our packaging distribution business by 10 per cent, with strong sales to our e-commerce retail customers and some signs of recovery from our industrial customers being offset by continued weakness in sales to our aerospace, high street retail and hospitality customers.

Headquartered in Glasgow, Macfarlane Group employs over 1,000 people at 39 sites, principally in the UK, as well as in Ireland, Sweden and the Netherlands.

“Our manufacturing operations grew sales by 45 per cent compared to the same period in 2020. This reflected ongoing strength in our labels business, some recovery in our design and manufacture business and the initial benefit from the acquisition of GWP Holdings.”

Commenting on the near-term outlook, bosses noted: “Covid-19, supply shortages and raw material price increases will continue to have an impact on the markets we serve for the remainder of 2021.

“However, we have consistently demonstrated our ability to address such challenges and effectively support our customers.

“We are therefore confident that the resilience of our business model, together with the skill and commitment of our people, will ensure 2021 will be another year of good progress for Macfarlane Group.”

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