Macfarlane profit rises despite revenue slip to £280m

Macfarlane Group, the Glasgow-based packaging, design and distribution firm, said its adjusted profit before tax grew 10% to £25.8 million in 2023 despite revenue slipping 3% to £280.7 million.

Total dividend for 2023 will rise 5% to 3.59p per share.

Macfarlane chair Aleen Gulvanessian said in her statement: “This profit growth has been achieved through the completion of three high quality acquisitions, effective management of input prices, good progress in Europe and stronger new business momentum which has offset weak customer demand in the UK and Ireland, sales price deflation and inflation in operating costs.”

Macfarlane said that in its Packaging Distribution business, revenue fell 6% to £244.9 million as “weak demand from customers in the UK and Ireland and sales price deflation were partially offset by a stronger new business performance, good sales momentum in Europe and the benefits of the acquisitions of PackMann in May 2022 and Gottlieb Packaging Materials Limited in April 2023, which are both performing well.”

Macfarlane chair Aleen Gulvanessian

Macfarlane Group employs over 1,000 people at 39 sites, principally in the UK, as well as in Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands. It supplies more than 20,000 customers, principally in the UK and Europe.

In its outlook, Macfarlane said: “We expect the year ahead to remain challenging due to uncertainty over customer demand.

“However, we are confident that we will continue to make progress in 2024 through strong new business momentum, a well-developed pipeline of potential acquisitions, the continued effective management of input prices and operational efficiencies.”