Marshalls takes action as profits fall 40%

Marshalls is outsourcing logistics to Wincanton

In the year to 31st December 2023 Marshalls group revenue fell 7% to £671.2 (2022: £719.4m) and pre-tax profit was down 40% at £22.2m (2022: £37.2m).

The latest results include an extra four months of trading from Marley, the roof tile business acquired in 2022.  On a like-for-like basis, group revenue contracted by 13%.

As previously reported, Marshalls took action to cut costs, closing its factory in Carluke, reduced shifts and capacity in other facilities and restructured its commercial team. 

These changes resulted in a reduction of approximately 330 roles and are expected to save £11m a year.

A further 300 Marshalls employees are transferring to Wincanton with the logistics function being outsourced. This transition will take place during the first half of 2024.

Despite the numbers taking a tumble in 2023, Marshalls says that its strategy to broaden its customer base – notably through the £535m acquisition of Marley – has provided an element of protection against market sector fluctuations.

Around 40% of revenue now comes from the new build housing sector, 40% from commercial & infrastructure end markets and 20% from private housing repair & maintenance.  

In 2023 landscape products generated £321.5m revenue for Marshalls and £21.3m operating profit.

Building products generated £170.1m revenue and £12.2m operating profit.

Roofing products was the most profitable segment, making a £44.9m operating profit on sales of £179.6m.

New chief executive Matt Pullen, who took over from Martyn Coffey just three weeks ago, said: “I am delighted to be appointed as chief executive of Marshalls. During 2023, the business was necessarily focused on controlling and improving the efficiency and agility of its cost base, leveraging its strength in operations, as well as rigorous and strong management of cashflow. All of the actions taken demonstrate the business is well managed and agile. I would like to thank all my colleagues for their hard work and commitment throughout last year.

“I have been with the group since early January and these first two months have reinforced my view of both the strengths of the business and the significant opportunity to deliver profitable growth and create shareholder value.  Over the coming months our focus will be on evolving the existing strategy, with a focus on the medium and longer-term market opportunities related to climate mitigation and adaptation and the structural drivers that will fuel demand for the group’s products and solutions.

“In the short-term markets are expected to remain challenging with continued weakness in the first half of the year followed by a progressive recovery in the second half as the macro-economic environment improves. This recovery is however expected to be slower and more modest than previously anticipated.

“The board remains confident that actions taken to improve efficiency and flexibility, together with a more diversified and resilient portfolio have strengthened the group. With clear long-term structural growth drivers and attractive market growth opportunities, the group is well positioned for relative outperformance in the medium term, and this will underpin a material improvement in profitability as end markets recover.”

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