Improving picture at listed landscape products group

Manufacturer and landscape products group, Marshalls, says its revenue growth has progressively improved with sales in the most recent months ahead of the comparative figures for 2019.

The Elland-based company, which has released a trading update today, says key drivers for its progress include strong demand in the Domestic end market, a return to more normal levels of trading in the Public Sector and Commercial end market and continued strong growth in the International market.

Group revenue for the year ended 31 December 2020 was £469m (2019: £542m).

The company says it will begin construction of a dual block plant at its St Ives manufacturing site, which will be the first facility of this nature in the UK.

It will represent a significant capital investment, of approximately £20m over three years, which will provide more manufacturing flexibility and efficiencies when fully operational.

As of 31 December 2020, the Group had net debt of £27m, on a pre-IFRS 16 basis (2019: £19m).

Marshalls notes this is “significantly better” than expected and is after both the repayment of £9.4m of furlough and £11.3m of deferred VAT in the final quarter of the year, meaning it has now repaid all Government Coronavirus assistance/funding.

As at 31 December 2020 the Group had total bank facilities of £255m, of which £230m are committed.  The headroom against these facilities is £228m (30 June 2020: £201m).

The company’s update adds: “Trading continues to improve and order books remain strong. The Board anticipates out-turns for 2020 and 2021 modestly above current expectations.

“We continue to monitor closely any risk to demand due to the worsening COVID situation in quarter one. We are taking appropriate and timely measures to best mitigate any impact.”