Packaging group set to unpack higher profits in 2016

Packaging firm Macfarlane Group said it looks set to meet its full-year expectations, with pre-tax profit for 2016 to-date 'well above' the same period in the previous year as it reaps the reward of acquisitions.

Graeme Bissett, chairman of Macfarlane Group. Picture: Greg Macvean

The Glasgow-based company said in a trading update for the four months ending 31 October that the second half of the year has enjoyed improving organic growth, and it expects the usual uplift in the trading cycle in the last quarter.

Sales for the year to-date in packaging distribution have grown by 8 per cent, it added.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Our acquisitions continue to perform well and we are particularly encouraged by our most recent [one] Nelsons for Cartons & Packaging, completed in July 2016,” the firm said, having paid up to £6.75 million for the Leicester-based business. The group said in August that it was eyeing further acquisitions but was unlikely to conclude any more this year.

Macfarlane added that combined sales for the year to date from the two businesses in its manufacturing operations are down by 7 per cent compared to the same period in 2015, but have shown improvement in the second half.

Full-year group operating profit for its manufacturing operations is predicted to be aligned with 2015 levels and in packaging distribution is forecast to show a significant year-on-year improvement.

Graeme Bissett, chairman of Macfarlane Group, said the performance in the second half “is demonstrating further strong progress” and he added: “The board remains confident that our full-year expectations will be met.