Macfarlane wraps up a good performance as interims jump by 60%

Glasgow-based Macfarlane, the UK's largest packaging distributor, yesterday unveiled a 60 per cent jump in interim profits after the group passed on suppliers' price rises to its customers. Profits before tax and exceptional items rose to £723,000, while turnover lifted 9 per cent to £64.1 million.%

Chairman Archie Hunter said the results had been achieved despite "challenging circumstances".

"There has been considerable focus on sales pricing with existing customers, seeking out new business opportunities, reducing costs and addressing underperforming parts of the business, and Macfarlane Group is emerging stronger as a result," he said.

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The company reduced its 20m pension fund deficit by 1.2m in the first half. Its shares closed the day up 9 per cent at 23.5p. Macfarlane will pay an interim dividend of 0.5p per share in October.

The firm employs 700 people at 22 sites, with customers in industries including food retailing and consumer goods.