Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Marshalls feels the pinch

Published: 4 July 2008
Consultations on the closure of two manufacturing plants as market conditions and inflationary pressures mount
A tough week for many a retailer and supplier has culminated in Marshalls' trading statement announcing the possible closure of two plants at Cannock and Sawley in the Midlands.

The landscape and paving products group said that the closures would form part of an accelerated focus on cost reduction and cost management to help it tackle current market conditions and inflationary pressures.

The costs drive will involve a charge of around £8 million (£3.5m cash). The group is also holding the total dividend for 2008 at last year's level.

In its trading performance for the six months to the end of June 30, 2008, Marshalls' revenue was slightly ahead at £211 million (2007: £210 million).

Acquisitions contributed £1 million; like-for-like revenue was maintained, however sales to the domestic market were 10 per cent down. Other channels such as the public sector and commercial market, which represent approximately 55 per cent of Marshalls' sales, saw gains.

Marshalls added that it will strengthen its brand and move to maximise its short term performance 'without prejudice' to the benefit of its longer term prospects.

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