Macfarlane Q1 sales and profits ahead of last year

Macfarlane Group, the Glasgow-based packaging, design and distribution firm, said on Tuesday it has made a solid start to 2023 with first quarter sales and profits ahead of the same period in 2022.

Expectations for the full year are unchanged.

In a trading update for the firm’s AGM, chair Aleen Gulvanessian told shareholders “packaging distribution” sales grew 4% in Q1 2023, with the benefit of the acquisition of PackMann in May 2022 and new business growth being partly offset by continuing weak demand from the e-commerce retail sector.

Gulvanessian said “manufacturing operations” grew sales 14% in Q1 2023, with good recovery in certain industrial markets enhanced by the acquisition of A.E. Sutton Limited in March 2023.

Macfarlane also completed two acquisitions during the first four months of 2023, the latest being Gottlieb Packaging Materials, a protective packaging distributor based in Manchester.

Aleen Gulvanessian, Macfarlane Group chair

Gulvanessian said: “The growth in both sales and profits that we have achieved in the first quarter of 2023 continues to demonstrate the effectiveness of our strategy, the quality of our people and the resilience of our business model.”

Headquartered in Glasgow, Macfarlane Group employs over 1,000 people at 39 sites in the UK, Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands.

Macfarlane Group supplies more than 20,000 customers, principally in the UK and Europe.