Macfarlane Group sales up 9% to £196m

Glasgow-based packaging firm Macfarlane Group said its sales rose 9% to £196 million and profit before tax jumped 19% to £9.3 million in 2017.

Macfarlane is proposing a final dividend of 1.50p per share, amounting to a full year dividend of 2.10p, an 8% increase on the prior year.

Macfarlane shares were trading down about 3%.

In its outlook for the year ahead, Macfarlane said: “During 2018 we will continue to look to acquire good quality protective packaging businesses, improve our geographic coverage, expand across the Macfarlane network the new products introduced by recent acquisitions, improve our operational efficiency by leveraging our property footprint and working more closely with strategic suppliers.”

Macfarlane Group employs 800 people at 29 sites across the UK, one site in Ireland and one site in Sweden.

Macfarlane Group chairman Stuart Paterson said: “The 19% increase in pre-tax profits in 2017 represents the eighth consecutive year of profit growth for Macfarlane Group. 

“Group profitability in the year to date is ahead of the same period in 2017.

“Our strategy continues to be the delivery of sustainable profit growth by focusing on added value products and services in our target market sectors, combined with efficiency improvements and the identification and completion of value-enhancing acquisitions.  

“This strategy, which continues to be refined, has served all stakeholders well in recent years and we remain confident that it will continue to do so

“Macfarlane Group’s performance in 2017 reflects the successful implementation of this strategy and we are confident that the Group will demonstrate further progress in 2018.