Marshalls trading update 10th December 2015

Marshalls' revenue for the eleven months ended 30 November 2015 was up 8 per cent at £365 million (2014: £338 million) despite strong comparatives versus the second half of 2014. The Group continues to experience robust order intake alongside encouraging sales growth in its main end markets and overall trading momentum continues to be positive. 

Sales to the Public Sector and Commercial end markets, which now represent approximately 66 per cent of Group sales, were up 11 per cent compared with the prior year period.  Commercial work from Water Management, Street Furniture, Rail and Newbuild Housing continues to increase and the Group continues to outperform the market in these areas. 

Sales to the Domestic end market, which represent approximately 29 per cent of Group sales, were up 3 per cent compared with the prior year period. The survey of domestic installers at the end of October 2015 revealed order books of 11.2 weeks (October 2014: 11.9 weeks) and compares with 12.0 weeks at the end of June 2015.

 Adjusting for currency movements, revenues from the International business, representing approximately 5 per cent of Group sales, increased by 2 per cent in the eleven months ended 30 November 2015.  Due to the adverse movement in exchange rates, however, this translated to a fall of 5 per cent once converted into sterling.  The Group has made continued progress in developing the International business, and the opening of a sales office in Dubai, which will facilitate further sales growth in the Middle East, is now well advanced. 

Continued performance improvement has been delivered in the smaller UK businesses and revenue for the eleven months ended 30 November 2015 was up 14 per cent. The smaller UK businesses include Street Furniture, Mineral Products and Stone Cladding. The turnaround in these smaller UK businesses in the year to date is ahead of our previous expectations with a consequent improvement in profitability of approximately £1m now expected for the current financial year.

Outlook

 The strength of trading in the last quarter of the year has resulted in the Board revising its expectations for the current year to be ahead of its previous view.

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