Macfarlane shares up 9% as sales rise to £230m

Shares of Glasgow-based packaging firm Macfarlane Group rose 9% on Thursday after it said its 2020 sales rose 2.1% to £230 million, profit before tax increased 9.6% to £13 million, and that it will increase its dividend.

“The board is proposing a final dividend of 1.85 pence per share, amounting to a full year dividend of 2.55p pence per share, compared to the prior year dividend of 0.69 pence per share which was impacted by the cancellation of the proposed final dividend of 1.76 pence per share, as one of the key Covid-19 cash conservation measures,” said the company.

Macfarlane said its packaging distribution business increased sales by 2.6% in 2020 to £201.7 million.

“Sales revenue from existing customers benefited from underlying strength in the e-commerce, household essentials and medical sectors partially offset by weaker demand from sectors most affected by Covid-19, namely automotive, aerospace, high street retail and hospitality,” said the firm.

Sales in Macfarlane’s manufacturing operations slipped 0.9% to £28.3 million.

“Strong demand from the food, medical and household essentials sectors in the labels business was more than offset by weaker demand from the aerospace and automotive sectors in the packaging design and manufacture business,” said Macfarlane.