Job cuts loom at manufacturer

FTSE 250 manufacturer Marshalls is to restructure its operations, directly impacting up to 400 jobs.

The Elland-based business has now begun consultations with its staff about its plans, which will affect 15% of its workforce.

These proposals include site closures and changes in shift patterns.

Marshalls supplies the construction, home improvement and landscape markets. In 2019 it made pre-tax profits of £70m on revenues of £542m – both up by more than 10% in the year – but has been badly affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

Sales in the first four months of 2020 were down nearly £50m. Although Marshalls says activity has improved in the early part of May, daily revenues are about half the level of last year.

The group has now signed final agreements with its funders NatWest, Lloyds and HSBC that provides a £90m revolving credit facility.

Including these additional facilities, Marshalls now has total bank facilities of £255m of which £230m are committed.

In a statement to the stock market, Marshalls said: “The combined effect of the cost reductions, the restructuring programme and the new bank facilities will leave the group stronger and well placed to meet the current challenges and also well positioned for eventual future opportunities.”

Marshalls has also completed the process for the Government-backed Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCCF), and has access to up to £200m.

It added: “The board considers that the facilities now available to the Group, both from its enhanced bank facilities and its CCFF commercial paper programme, are sufficient to meet significant downside liquidity scenarios over a prolonged period.”