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Marshalls PLC (MSLH)

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Wednesday 12 May, 2021

Marshalls PLC

Trading Statement

RNS Number : 2876Y
Marshalls PLC
12 May 2021

Marshalls plc


Trading Update: 12 May 2021


Strong trading and an improving outlook


Ahead of its Annual General Meeting at 11:00 today, Marshalls plc, the specialist landscape products group, issues a trading update for the first four months of its 2021 financial year


Trading performance


Recent trading has been strong and the improving trend has continued. Group revenue in the four months ended 30 April 2021, was up 46 per cent at £191 million against the same period last year which was impacted by the first UK lockdown (2020: £131 million). This represents an increase of 6 per cent compared with the same four-month period in 2019. The key drivers of this growth have continued to be strong demand in the Domestic end market, improved trading in the Public Sector and Commercial end market and further growth in the International market.


Sales to the Domestic end market, which represented approximately 30 per cent of Group sales were £57 million. This represents an increase of 99 per cent compared with the prior year comparative and is up 20 per cent compared with the same period in 2019. The survey of domestic installers at the end of April 2021 continued to show a healthy order book of 17.2 weeks (2020: 9.4 weeks) compared with 19.4 weeks at the end of February 2021.


Sales to the Public Sector and Commercial end market for the four months ended 30 April 2021 were £122 million and represented 64 per cent of Group sales. This represents an increase of 32 per cent compared with the prior year and a slight increase against the same four-month period in 2019, after adjusting for the impact on sales caused by the planned reduction in Premier Mortar sites in the second quarter of 2020. The Group continues to focus on those areas of the market where higher levels of growth are anticipated. These include infrastructure projects in Road, Rail and Water Management.


Sales in the International business for the four months ended 30 April 2021 increased by 27 per cent compared with 2020 and 32 per cent compared with 2019. This reflects a continuation of the strong performance from Marshalls NV in Belgium.


Balance sheet and liquidity


The Group retains a strong balance sheet supported by a flexible capital structure and maintains good headroom, which will support its investment priorities going forward.


As at 30 April 2021, the Group had net debt of £98 million (2020: £112 million; 2019: £122 million). On a pre-IFRS 16 basis net debt was £52 million (2020: £69 million; 2019: £82 million). This reflects the improved recent trading performance and our continued close monitoring of cash flows.


As previously indicated, the additional short-term bank facilities established in May 2020 have not been utilised, and these have now reached maturity. Bank facilities are now at pre-COVID-19 levels and total £165 million, of which £140 million are committed.




Trading continues to improve and order books are currently strong. The Construction Products Association's recent Spring forecast predicts an increase in UK market volumes of 12.9 per cent in 2021 and 5.2 per cent in 2022. This continues to reflect a more positive trading environment and the external purchasing and consumer confidence indicators continue to strengthen. The Board remains focused on developing future growth opportunities and delivering the strategic objectives set out in the 5-year Strategy, whilst ensuring that operations incorporate health and safety practices that go "over and above" current recommended COVID-19 guidelines.


The Board is encouraged by the sustained increase in demand during the first four months of the financial year and now expects trading for the full year to be ahead of its previous expectations.


Appointment of Non-Executive Director and Board changes


We are delighted to confirm our intention to appoint Avis Darzins to the Board as an additional Non-Executive Director with effect from 1 June 2021. Avis will also join the Audit, Remuneration and Nomination Committees.


Vanda Murray OBE, Chair of the Board, commented: "The Board is delighted that Avis will be joining Marshalls plc as a Non-Executive Director. As previously announced, Janet Ashdown will be stepping down from the Board after our AGM later today, so Avis' appointment is part of our wider succession planning and will broaden the Board's experience. Avis has extensive business transformation and digital experience and will be a valuable addition to the Board."


In addition, Tim Pile will step down as a member of the Audit Committee with immediate effect, Tim continues in his role as a Non-Executive Director on the Board and member of our Remuneration and Nomination Committees


Certain information contained in this announcement would have constituted inside information prior to its release as part of this announcement.



Martyn Coffey

Chief Executive

Marshalls plc

+44 (0)1422 314777

Andrew Jaques

MHP Communications

+44 (0)20 3128 8540

Charlie Barker



Avis Darzins Biographical Notes


Avis is an expert in retail business change, digital channel expansions and transformation. Avis was, for eight years, a Partner at Accenture focusing on the retail and consumer products sector, where she delivered successful profitable growth engagements with many well-known national and international brands. Avis also founded her own management consulting practice in 2013 following four years as Director of Business Transformation at Sky. Prior to that Avis held business leadership roles at Arcadia, BHS, Mothercare and Littlewoods. Most recently Avis served as a Non-Executive Director at Moss Bros Group PLC until the business transferred to private ownership in June 2020. Avis also spent over a decade as a board member of retailTRUST, the key retail-orientated charity and continues her involvement with the charity as co-chair of their Ambassadors Group. In addition, Avis joined the Board of Trustees of Barnardo's in December 2020.


Avis Darzins is independent for the purposes of the UK Corporate Governance Code. Her recruitment follows a formal, rigorous and objective selection process led by the Nomination Committee with the help of external consultants Norman Broadbent. This announcement includes the information required by Listing Rules 9.6.11 to 9.6.13, and there is no information to report under Listing Rule 9.6.13R (2) - (6) inclusive.


Note to the Editor:


About Marshalls:


Established in the late 1880s, Marshalls is the UK's leading manufacturer of superior natural stone and innovative concrete hard landscaping products, supplying the construction, home improvement and landscape markets.  Marshalls provides the product ranges, design services, technical expertise, innovative ideas and inspiration to transform gardens, drives and public and commercial landscapes.


Marshalls operates its own quarries and manufacturing sites throughout the UK, including a national network of manufacturing and distribution sites, and has operations in Belgium and sales representation in other international markets.  As a major plc, Marshalls is committed to quality in everything it does, including the achievement of high environmental and ethical standards and continual improvement in health and safety performance.


Forward-Looking Statements:


Any statements in this release, to the extent that they are forward-looking, are subject to risk factors associated with, amongst other things, the economic and business circumstances occurring from time to time in the markets in which Marshalls operates. It is believed that the expectations reflected in these statements are reasonable but they may be affected by a wide range of variables which could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated.  More information about the factors that may affect Marshalls' performance is contained in the Annual Report to shareholders for the year ended 31 December 2020.


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