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Marshalls to cut costs threatening 135 jobs

Landscape products firm Marshalls is cutting costs putting 135 jobs at risk.

The paving stone maker said in a trading update today that it is considering closing two concrete plants at Llay in North Wales and Hambrook, West Sussex potentially hitting 80 staff.

A further 55 jobs could go as the Huddersfield company slashes costs at its consumer arm, which designs and installs features such as patios and driveways.

The potential cuts emerged as Marshalls reported a 6 per cent decline in sales to £378 million last year.

Last year Marshalls cut 140 staff with the closure of concrete manufacturing bases at Cannock, Staffordshire, and Sawley in Nottinghamshire.

Although commercial and public sector revenues - accounting for 59 per cent of the business - were down just 1 per cent, sales to the domestic market slumped 15 per cent as DIY and new build markets faltered.

Marshalls, which currently has 2,650 employees, said underlying results for 2008 would be in line with market hopes, but it faces exceptional costs for closures and goodwill write-downs totalling £28 million.

The firm said it would concentrate on the “more robust” areas of the market in the months ahead as well as halving its capital spending.

The trading statement said: “The overall demand outlook remains uncertain.

“The outlook for 2009 in the public sector remains positive but demand has weakened in the commercial and industrial sectors, with projects being delayed or cancelled as economic conditions have deteriorated.”

“We have invested significantly over the past few years in productivity improvements, organic growth capital expenditure projects and acquisitions.

“This will now enable us to reduce capital expenditure and focus on increasing cash generation in the immediate future.”

Further reading:

Marshalls cuts jobs – click here

Concrete firms face bankruptcy – click here