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Marshalls focuses on growth sectors as profits fall 17%

Published: 29 August 2008
Specialist landscape products group look at sales opportunities in growth markets, an acceleration in cost reductions and ways to conserve cash to retain financial flexibility
Marshalls has said it will focus on growth sectors within its business divisions after reporting a 17% dip in profits.

The specialist landscape products group said pre-tax profits for the six months to June 30, 2008 were £22.7m (2007: £27.4m) on sales of £211.1m up 0.6% on the same period in 2007.

Graham Holden, chief executive, said Marshalls' experienced management team had moved swiftly to refocus the business and reduce the cost base in a challenging trading environment.
"Our balance sheet is strong, our business is well invested and our brand recognition is high," he said.

Marshalls' long term strategy is under constant review, he added, however it would concentrate on developing sales opportunities in growth markets, accelerating cost reductions and conserving cash.

In July, it announced the closure of two concrete manufacturing plants as part of its cost and overhead management programme.

Divisionally, like-for-like sales to the public sector and commercial markets were 9% up while sales to the domestic market were down 10% compared with 2007.

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