Landscaping products firm Marshalls said that lower consumer confidence had undermined a 'challenging' domestic market as its profits for the first half of the year dipped.
Pre-tax profits at the firm fell 8 per cent to £24.2 million from £26.4 million, despite turnover being up 7 per cent to £185.2 million from £172.7 million last time.
'Domestic markets are expected to remain challenging reflecting weaker consumer confidence,' chief executive Graham Holden said this morning.
According to the Construction Products Association, the private housing repair and maintenance market is not expected to return to growth until 2007.
But there was more cheer for Marshalls in the public sector, and the company said it would expect to benefit from large commercial deals at Heathrow's Terminal 5 and preparations for the Olympic Games.
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