Marshalls tempers positive results with market warning

Marshalls' growth in commercial and overseas markets has been marred slightly by weaker sales in public-sector and domestic arenas.

The supplier of hard-landscape materials said expectations would be met in an interim report on the 10 months to November.

Revenue for the period rose by seven per cent on last year to £298m. However, finance director Ian Burrell said the "macroeconomic backdrop was challenging". He added: "We have strengths on the commercial side and weaknesses in the public sector. Weaknesses in the UK domestic market are offset by positives overseas."

Of biggest concern was Europe and the wider global economy, which was hitting consumer confidence, he said. "We will work very closely with customers, such as merchants, to make sure that stores have the right point-of-sale, and with independent installers to make sure we have a good relationship. We will work closely with contractors on the public-sector side."

Burrell spoke of the 2012 Olympic Games site, for which Marshalls is supplying products, as an example of "closely working together so you're in the best position".

Despite hardships, sales to public-sector and commercial markets, which make up around 60 per cent of Marshalls' sales, increased by eight per cent in the 10-month period.

Sales to the domestic market rose six per cent, including sales into the overseas domestic market.

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