Macfarlane pays dividend as H1 sales slip to £105m

Glasgow-based packaging firm Macfarlane Group said on Thursday its sales slipped 1.8% to £105.6 million in the first half of 2020 and profit before tax was 5.5% lower at £3.6 million.

Macfarlane did not propose its 2019 final dividend of 1.76p per share, but Macfarlane chairman Stuart Paterson said that given the “stronger than anticipated profit performance and cash position” the firm is recommending an interim dividend of 0.70p per share, up from 0.69p.

Paterson said: “Macfarlane Group has achieved a resilient performance in the first half of 2020 despite the challenging market conditions due to the impact of Covid-19 …

“All our sites have remained open and trading throughout, albeit adjusted to service reduced demand, with social distancing and hygiene measures in place to protect the health, safety and well-being of our staff and our customers. 

“In addition, the majority of our office-based staff have been working successfully from home in accordance with our home working protocols …

“Macfarlane Group’s performance in the first half of 2020 demonstrates the robust nature of our strategy and business model and we are confident that the group is strongly positioned to effectively manage the challenges it will face in the remainder of 2020 and well placed to benefit when the UK economy begins to recover.”

On its future prospects, Macfarlane said: “Whilst we have experienced significant challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic and there are still uncertainties ahead, our strategy and business model have proved resilient and robust. 

“We expect to deliver a solid sales and profit performance in 2020 and are well positioned to benefit as the economy recovers.”