Landscape spearheads growth at Marshalls

Marshalls is going for growth, following a two per cent rise in revenue to £306m in the year to 2014, and is pinning hopes on bumper sales for paving and landscape water-management products.

"Growth took off in the second half in public sector and commercial and in domestic with both end markets performing well," said a spokeswoman.

Revenue for the six months to 31 December 2013 was up nine per cent compared with the second half of 2012. Current group trading continued to tally with expectations, she added.

"As the economy continues to recover, greater emphasis will be placed on further development of the Marshalls’ brand across all aspects of hard landscaping.

"We continue to focus on product innovation and service delivery initiatives to drive sales growth in all our end markets.

"The group is well placed to improve trading margins and deliver growth. Street furniture, landscape water management and internal natural stone flooring are seen as growth areas."

Sales to public sector and commercial end markets, almost two thirds of Marshalls' sales, were up one per cent for the year against 2012 reflecting anticipated improved market conditions in the second half.

Sales to the domestic end market, representing the remaining third of group sales, were also up 1% compared with the year before.

Orders for domestic installers at the end of October 2013 meanwhile continued to strengthen with order books of 11 weeks against 8.7 weeks at the same time in 2012.

"Although the GfK’s consumer confidence index remains negative, it is significantly improved from this time last year," she said.

She pointed to the Construction Products Association’s autumn forecast, which predicted growth of 2.7 per cent in 2014 and 4.6 per cent in 2015.

Sales in the international business rose nearly a quarter in the year to 31 December 2013. Despite difficult trading conditions in western Europe, underlying sales activity levels was "encouraging". 

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