Macfarlane sales hit £169m as profit soars 21%

Glasgow-based packaging firm Macfarlane Group said its sales rose 10% in 2015 to £169.1 million and profit before tax soared 21% to £6.8 million as recent acquisitions and success in the expanding internet retail sector both helped the company’s bottom line.

Macfarlane said it will continue looking for good companies to buy.

The firm said it intends to pay a full year dividend of 1.82p per share, a 10% increase.

Macfarlane said its packaging distribution business increased sales by 13% to £143.0 million.

“This was achieved through organic growth of 6%, with particular success in the expanding internet retail sector and increased penetration of National Account,” said Macfarlane.

“The good organic sales growth was enhanced by the contributions from One Packaging, acquired in August 2015, and the full year contribution from the acquisitions of Lane Packaging and Network Packaging, concluded in 2014.”

However, sales in Macfarlane’s manufacturing operations fell 3% to £26.1 million.

This was partly due to management actions to rebalance the mix of products in the labels business “and the impact of exchange rates and demand weakness, particularly in export markets, in our packaging manufacture and design business,” said Macfarlane.

“The 21% increase in pre-tax profits represents the sixth consecutive year of profit growth for Macfarlane Group,” said chairman Graeme Bissett.

“We will continue to focus on opportunities in sectors with strong growth prospects, including internet retail, third party logistics and National Accounts and deliver high standards of service to all customers.

“We will also maintain our programme of acquiring good quality businesses to augment organic growth. This strategy has served all stakeholders in our business well in recent years and will continue to do so.

“The positive trends seen in 2015 have been sustained in the early part of 2016 and Macfarlane Group has started the year well.”