Marshalls optimistic trading outlook despite posting H1 pre-tax loss

Marshalls chief executive Martyn Coffey is confident of a market recovery from COVID-19-induced disruption which impacted on the group’s first-half 2020 trading.
September 16, 2020
By Guy Woodford
Martyn Coffey, Marshalls chief executive pic: Marshalls

Posting a pre-tax loss of £16mn (€18.18mn) and a 25% drop in group revenue to £210.5mn for the six months to 30 June 2020 highlighted a challenging trading period for the leading UK external landscaping, interior design, paving and flooring products group.

However, since 1 July 2020, Marshalls has seen a market improvement, with revenue at 100% of the 2019 comparative period in August. The group plans to repay the £9.4mn of furlough funding it received from the UK government.

Commenting on the business outlook for the group, Coffey said: “Although business confidence and market demand remain uncertain, recent trading has been better than expected and continues to improve. Our restructuring programme is now complete, and the new bank facilities have further strengthened the group. The decisive actions that have been taken have improved the efficiency and flexibility of our plants and will help Marshalls to emerge from the current market difficulties in a stronger competitive position.”

Coffey stressed that Marshalls holds a leading position and enjoys and strong brand in its core markets. He added: “We will continue to protect the long-term sustainability of the business and will remain focused on developing future growth opportunities and delivering the strategic objectives in our five-year strategy.”

Assuming the current demand recover continues, Marshalls anticipates delivering an operating profit for the full year consistent with broker estimates.

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