Marshalls revenue falls 10% to £199m for January-April

Marshalls plc, the Elland, West Yorkshire-based stone and landscaping firm, published a trading update for the four months to April 30, 2024, showing revenue during the period was down 10% on a like-for-like basis at £199 million.

Marshalls said this reflected “the expected continuation of weak demand in the group’s key end markets of new build housing and private housing RMI (repairs, maintenance and improvements).”

The company also confirmed a board role change, saying: “In support of our strategic ambitions, Simon Bourne, previously the group’s chief operating officer, has moved into the role of chief commercial officer, responsible for the group’s commercial strategy and the financial performance of the group’s business divisions. 

“Simon will continue in his role as a member of the Marshalls board.”

In an “overview and outlook” the company said: “In continuing subdued markets, the board maintained its proactive control of costs and successful reduction of net debt. 

“We have restructured the executive team to prioritise our commercial focus and accelerate the implementation of key strategic initiatives.

Group revenue during the period was down by 10 per cent on a like-for-like basis at £199 million (2023: £227 million), reflecting the expected continuation of weak demand in the group’s key end markets of new build housing and private housing RMI.

The board continues to expect a modest recovery in the second half of the year predicated on a progressive improvement in the macro-economic environment. 

“Against this backdrop and given the decisive management actions taken to reduce capacity and the cost base in 2023, the board remains confident that profit in 2024 will be in-line with its previous expectations and at similar levels to 2023 …

“Landscape Products revenue was down by 15 per cent on a like-for-like basis at £89 million (2023: £110 million).  A weaker performance in new build housing and discretionary private housing RMI was moderated by a more modest reduction in commercial & infrastructure revenues.

Building Products contracted by three per cent to £54 million (2023: £55 million). Revenue in the civils and drainage business increased year-on-year supported by increased infrastructure work, and more recently by some improvement in housing groundwork activity. 

“Bricks and mortar revenues were lower than 2023 due to weaker new build housing activity in the period compared to a relatively strong performance in the same period last year. Pleasingly, the group further increased its share of the UK brick market in the first quarter of 2024.

Roofing Products revenue was eight per cent lower at £56 million (2023: £61 million). Within this, Viridian Solar revenue was slightly higher than 2023 despite the significant reduction in new build activity, which is driven by the start of the expected increase in volumes arising from a change in building regulations.”