Macfarlane first quarter sales ahead of last year

Macfarlane Group, the Glasgow-based packaging, design and distribution firm, said on Tuesday it has made a solid start to 2022 with first quarter sales and profits from continuing operations ahead of the same period in 2021.

Macfarlane chairman Stuart Paterson delivered the news in a trading update for the firm’s AGM.

Packaging distribution sales grew by 16%, with recovery of supplier driven price increases and the benefit of the acquisition of Carters Packaging (Cornwall) Limited in March 2021.

Sales to industrial and hospitality sectors in 2022 have continued to recover offset by weaker sales to e-commerce retail customers compared to the strong demand seen in the same period in 2021.

Manufacturing operations grew sales by 93%, reflecting the benefit from the acquisition of GWP Holdings Limited in February 2021 and a strong performance from design and manufacture, which mainly serves industrial markets.

Macfarlane expects weaker sales in the e-commerce retail sector to continue for the remainder of the year, offset by recovery in the industrial and hospitality sectors and the benefit of new business wins.

Macfarlane said it will continue to manage inflationary pressures in input prices and operating costs, mainly labour, energy and transport.

Its expectations for the full year are unchanged.

Paterson said: “We have consistently demonstrated our ability to address the challenges in the market and we are confident that the effectiveness of our strategy, the quality of our people and the resilience of our business model will ensure 2022 will be another year of growth for Macfarlane.”

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