Macfarlane Group looks to wrap up year with profit hike

Glasgow-based packaging firm Macfarlane Group has assured investors that it remains on track to meet full-year expectations.

Stuart Paterson  confident meeting full-year expectations. Picture: Macfarlane Group
Stuart Paterson  confident meeting full-year expectations. Picture: Macfarlane Group

In a trading update covering the period from 30 June to the end of last month, the group noted that the momentum achieved in the first half of the year had been maintained in the second half with “consistent levels of organic growth and benefit from acquisitions”.

Sales growth for the year to date stands at 13 per cent with 5 per cent achieved from organic growth and the remainder from acquisitions. As a result, profit before tax in 2018 so far is “well above” the same period a year earlier.

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Macfarlane, which employs getting on for 1,000 people at 31 sites, chiefly in the UK, but also in Ireland and Sweden, said bank borrowings at the end of the first half stood at £10.9m.

Chairman Stuart Paterson said: “I am pleased to report that Macfarlane Group’s performance in the second half of 2018 has continued to reflect the good progress demonstrated in the first half. The board remains confident in meeting its full-year expectations for 2018.”

In August, the group unveiled two recent acquisitions it had made alongside “strong” interim results, including a jump in pre-tax profits of almost 40 per cent.

However, the firm, whose activities include providing packaging for online deliveries for the likes of Lakeland and QVC, ruled out further deals until 2019 as it approached the final quarter, its busiest period of the year.

The group unveiled a 14 per cent year-on-year jump in group turnover to £102.7 million in the six months to 30 June, and a 39 per cent jump in pre-tax profit to £3.5m. The board recommended an interim dividend increase of 8 per cent to 65 pence per share.