Marshalls half-year sales down 25% but recovering quickly

Hard landscaping leaders Marshalls published half-year results today (15 September) showing a 25% fall in reveue to the end of June compared with the first half of 2019. 

However, the company says trading has improved further since the half year end, with revenue in July at 94% of 2019 sales and back up to the 2019 level in August.

It is an indication of just how strongly business and the economy in general is recovering following the March/April lockdown and provides hope of a 'V' shaped mini-recession (albeit with the second largest fall in GDP ever recorded in England - the largest being 400 years ago in a particularly severe winter).

Marshalls lists its financial highlights like this:

  • Continued emphasis on cost reduction
  • Group liquidity has been maintained and enhanced throughout the COVID-19 period
  • Net debt of £53.9million (2019: £55.6million) 
  • Total bank facilities now £255million, of which £230million are committed
  • Marshalls confirms its intention to repay in full the furlough monies received of £9.4million
  • The costs associated with operational restructuring totalled £17.6million and have been charged to the income statement in the period
  • Restructuring expected to reduce fixed costs by approximately £12million in a full year and improve operational efficiency going forward
  • Maintained a strong balance sheet and a flexible capital structure - Marshalls should emerge in a stronger competitive position

Martyn Coffey, Chief Executive, says: “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.

"Marshalls holds a leading position and enjoys a strong brand in its core markets. 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 set out in our Five-Year Strategy.”

Read about Marshalls' return to a focus on natural stone here...