City briefs: Dr Martens; Nottingham Building Society; Forterra

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Dr Martens, the Northampton-based shoe and boot manufacturer has seen revenues rise by 52% for its first quarter to June 30.

Turnover soared to £147.3m, but the firm is quick to point out the figures are against a period impacted by Covid. On a tw0-year basis, revenues rose by 31%.

Kenny Wilson, CEO said: “I am very pleased with the performance across our business in the first quarter of our new financial year. We achieved continued growth in ecommerce against a triple-digit growth rate last year and the reopening of our own-stores drove a strong retail recovery through the period. In addition, we saw a return to more normalised wholesale shipments over the period.

“The first quarter of the year is always our smallest period, being the end of the Spring/Summer season. Our larger Autumn/Winter season begins from Q2 and our performance to date gives us confidence for the remainder of the year. We will continue to take a long-term custodian mindset, investing into our business and making decisions to drive the brand for the decades to come.”

Nottingham Building Society has posted profits of £4.9m for the its half year to June 30.

The figure marks a return to profit for the Nottingham, which struggled in 2020.

David Marlow, chief executive of The Nottingham, said: “As we entered 2021, we were clear that great uncertainties remained, both economically and socially. Our priorities through the first half of 2021 therefore have been to steer a steady course, manage our balance sheet carefully, grow our membership and return to a sustainable level of profitability. We also committed to continue with our plans to reinvent the Society for the new world of digital financial services.

“I am very pleased to report therefore that, as we head into the second half of 2021, we have made substantial progress against all our objectives and priorities.”

Marlow also said he will step down next year and that the process to find his successor is underway.

Forterra, the Northampton brickmaker, has also returned to profit for its six months to the end of June.

The firm made a profit of £27.1m against a loss of £23.m last year. Revenues also rose, from £122.4m to £180.3m this year.

Stephen Harrison, chief executive officer, said: “We saw a strong recovery over 2020 in the first half, which exceeded our expectations. This performance, primarily in Bricks and Blocks, was underpinned by robust demand across both the new build and RM&I markets. Overall, group revenue increased 47% over 2020 and, notably, revenue in Bricks and Blocks was slightly ahead of 2019 levels.

“The current strong trading conditions appear set to continue in the second half of the year with our customer base signalling that they expect current levels of demand to continue. However, we remain watchful that ongoing economic uncertainty surrounding the longer-term impacts of the pandemic, coupled with the shorter-term effects of the present shortages of labour, materials and transport across the wider sector could potentially impact demand for our products.

“Whilst we anticipate that the result for the full year will be weighted towards the first half reflecting the timing of maintenance shutdowns, the impact of cost inflation and near-term labour and material shortages in the second half, we now anticipate a 2021 FY result modestly ahead of our previous expectations.”