Financial details published at the Glasgow-headquartered group’s annual general meeting yesterday showed profits to date this year ahead of those achieved at the same time in 2018, with sales up 7% for the group.
In its first interim management report of the year the group reported sales in its packaging distribution division, which accounts for 90% of its business, has grown by 6%, comprising 3% organics sales growth and 3% from the acquisitions in 2018 of Leicester-based Tyler Packaging and Harrisons Packaging in Leyland, Lancashire on 31 July and 2 August respectively.
The business also completed a further acquisition on 2 May this year, bringing Aylesbury-based protective packaging distributor Ecopac (UK) under its umbrella in a £3.9m deal. The 21-staff business reported sales of £6m in its 2017/2018 accounts.
Meanwhile strong growth was reported in the group’s manufacturing operations, with sales growth of 15% above that achieved in the same period last year.
Macfarlane chairman Stuart Paterson said the board was confident that performance for 2019 would be in line with expectations with a key strategic component being the continued acquisition of good-quality packaging distribution businesses.
He added: “2019 has started positively and we shall maintain our focus on growing organically in our target markets, supplemented by the acquisition of good quality packaging businesses. We are confident that 2019 will be another year of good progress for Macfarlane Group.”
In February Macfarlane Group celebrated its ninth consecutive year of growth posting group turnover of £217.3m for the year to 31 December 2018, up 11% on the previous year, while group profit before tax was boosted by 17% to £10.9m.
Macfarlane Group employs around 970 staff across 30 sites in the UK, Ireland and Sweden.
Share price rose slightly to 107p following the announcement yesterday and was at 106.6p at the time of writing (12 month high: 112p, low: 72.7p).