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Bad weather fails to put a freeze on Marshalls' growth

Building materials supplier Marshalls’ has defied grim market conditions by posting a four per cent increase in revenue for the year ended 31 December 2010.

The company now boasts £323 million in revenue, up from £312m last year. Driving the increase was a 6 per cent surge in the public sector market which now accounts for 59 per cent of Marshalls’ sales.

The domestic market enjoyed a more modest one per cent increase.

Despite the strong performance in the second half of the year, the company said it was badly hit by the poor weather in the last five weeks.

Manufacturing operations in Scotland and the North-east were disrupted, together with the group’s quarrying activities.

It estimates the negative impact of the freezing weather to be approximately £5m of sales or £.08m of operating profit.

Net debt is two million down on last year at £67m, and the company says cash management remains a central priority with a continuing focus on stock control and the management of capital expenditure.

In an update to the stock exchange, the company said:  “Recent sales trends indicate that our markets have now stabilised and that our marketing and sales initiatives are delivering positive results.  The short term outlook remains encouraging with good order books and a positive order flow. 

“Despite the difficulty in forecasting and the uncertainty as to the likely speed of recovery, the group has operational flexibility for the medium term and is well placed financially and operationally to respond to changing market conditions.”

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