Scotland business

Macfarlane Group sales and profits lifted by acquisitions

Macfarlane lorry Image copyright Macfarlane

Recent acquisitions have helped to boost sales and profits for Glasgow-based packaging firm Macfarlane Group.

Sales for the first six months of the year were 3.7% up on the same period in 2015, at £81.5m, while pre-tax profit was 8.1% higher, at £2m.

During the first half, Macfarlane bought Colton Packaging Teesside and the packaging arm of Glasgow-based Edward McNeil Ltd.

Macfarlane said both acquisitions had had a "positive impact".

They contributed the lion's share of a 5.5% year-on-year improvement in packaging distribution sales, the company said.

However, sales from manufacturing operations were 9% below 2015 levels, which Macfarlane attributed largely to its decision "not to follow low price competition in the labels sector".

The company said it remained confident that full-year expectations would be met, with the recent acquisition of a third company - Nelsons for Cartons and Packaging - expected to contribute to profits in the second half of this year.

Group chairman Graeme Bissett said: "Our strategy is to continue to deliver sustainable profit growth through focusing on added-value products and services in our key UK market sectors, combined with the execution of value-enhancing acquisitions.

"The uncertain economic climate arising from the outcome of the EU referendum is likely to continue for a considerable time and we will monitor developments and take appropriate action."

Macfarlane employs more than 780 people at 29 sites, mainly in the UK and Ireland.

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