Marshalls sees good sales ahead

PAVING specialist Marshalls reported strong trading in the first six months of 2014 thanks to a focus on fast growing areas such as rail.

The Huddersfield-based firm said revenue from continuing operations rose 15 per cent to £180m in the six months to June 30.

Sales to the public sector and commercial market, which represent 62 per cent of’ sales, rose 19 per cent.

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The group said it is targeting the faster growing parts of the market such as rail, home, landscape water management and internal natural stone flooring.

Sales to the domestic market, which accounts for 32 per cent of sales, rose four per cent, reflecting stronger sales in the second quarter of 2013.

The survey of domestic installers at the end last month showed strong order books of 11.5 weeks, up from 10.2 weeks last year,

Marshalls said it is making good progress developing its international business, where revenue has increased by 44 per cent and now represents six per cent of group sales.

The Construction Products Association’s Spring forecast predicts growth of 4.5 per cent in 2014 and 4.8 per cent in 2015.

Marshalls’ chief executive Martyn Coffey said: “Based on the group’s forward indicators the outlook remains positive in all major end markets.

“Marshalls is experiencing strong order intake and sales growth in its major end markets.

“The group continues to increase output to meet growing demand and to deliver benefits from its operational gearing.”