In his first address as chairman at the group’s annual shareholder gathering, Stuart Paterson said: “Group profit for the year to date is well ahead of that achieved in 2017 and, recognising the influence of the online retail sector in the second half of the year, the board is confident that Macfarlane will perform in line with its expectations for 2018.”
He added: “The year has started positively and we shall maintain our focus on growing organically in our target markets, supplemented by the acquisition of good quality packaging businesses. We are confident that 2018 will be another year of good progress for Macfarlane Group.”
In a trading update, the firm said sales have grown by 11 per cent compared to the same period in 2017.
Its packaging distribution business has seen sales rise by 12 per cent, year-on-year. This comprises 3 per cent organic sales growth and 9 per cent growth attributable to the Greenwoods acquisition undertaken last September, which “continues to perform well”, Macfarlane noted.
Sales in the group’s manufacturing operations, meanwhile, are 4 per cent above the equivalent period in 2017.
As expected, net debt has reduced from the level seen at the end of 2017 and the group’s committed bank facilities have been increased to £30 million.
Macfarlane employs more than 850 people at 29 sites, chiefly in the UK, but also in Ireland and Sweden.
The company has in excess of 20,000 customers in the UK, Europe and the US providing some 600,000 lines to a range of industry sectors including consumer goods, food manufacturing, logistics, internet retail, mail order, electronics, defence and aerospace.