Macfarlane shares up amid upbeat AGM statement

Shares of Glasgow-based packaging firm Macfarlane Group rose about 6% on Tuesday amid a positive AGM statement.

At the AGM in Glasgow, Macfarlane chairman Stuart Paterson said: “Group profit for the year to date is ahead of that achieved in 2018 and, recognising the usual seasonal uplift in the second half of the year, the board is confident that Macfarlane will perform in line with its expectations for 2019.

“Sales have grown by 7% compared to the same period in 2018. 

“Our packaging distribution business has grown sales by 6% compared to 2018. 

“This comprises 3% organic sales growth and 3% sales growth attributable to the two acquisitions in 2018, which continue to perform well. 

“Sales in our manufacturing operations are 15% above the equivalent period in 2018.

“A key component of our strategy is the acquisition of good-quality packaging distribution businesses. 

“At the end of April, we were pleased to complete the acquisition of Ecopac (UK) Limited, a packaging distributor based near Aylesbury with annual sales of £6.0m.

“Prior to completing the acquisition referred to above, net debt had reduced from the 31 December 2018 level. 

“The group’s committed bank facilities of £30m remain available until June 2022 and the group continues to operate well within these facilities.

“2019 has started positively and we shall maintain our focus on growing organically in our target markets, supplemented by the acquisition of good quality packaging businesses. 

“We are confident that 2019 will be another year of good progress for Macfarlane Group.”