Prices pushed up at landscape products business as shortages bite

Marshalls, the Elland-based landscape products group, has reported a positive trading performance despite a continued backdrop of sector-wide raw material and labour shortages.

Group revenue for the year ended 31 December 2021 was £589m (2020: £469m; 2019: £542m), which is 26% ahead of the 2020 comparative.

It represents an increase of 9% compared with the same period in 2019, being the last comparative period which was unaffected by Covid-19.

Revenue growth in the second half of the year was increasingly strong and was 11% ahead of the comparative figures for 2019.

Marshalls notes the raw material and labour shortages it has faced have caused “significant cost inflation, additional overtime costs to cover Covid-19 related absenteeism and some customer project delays.”

It says these cost increases were recovered through a mid-year price increase, while a further price increase has been implemented successfully in January 2022.

The listed company’s trading update states: “The Group has strong supplier relationships and our centralised procurement team continue to actively manage the supply chain to create flexibility and reduce risk.

“Underlying market demand continues to be strong and the business has been experiencing trading volumes that are outperforming the Construction Products Association’s growth forecasts.

“Supported by strong market demand in the last quarter of the year, the Board is revising its trading expectations for the year ended 31 December 2021 to be slightly ahead of its previous view.”

Marshalls says the outlook for the construction market remains positive, particularly in its key target markets of New Build Housing, Road, Rail and Water Management.