Profits double

Online trading drives Macfarlane shares higher

Macfarlane lorry

Profits more than doubled in the first half

Shares in Scottish packaging group Macfarlane soared to a year high after it reported a 120% rise in first half pre-tax profits on the back of growth in online parcel deliveries.

Investors piled into the Glasgow company’s stock, driving the shares 16p or 13.39% higher at the close to 135.5p after touching a year 52-week intra-day peak of 139.05p.

Profits for the six months to the end of June hit £7.8m against £3.5m for the corresponding period last year on turnover up 26.5% to £133.5m.

The board said the outlook for 2021 will be ahead of previous expectations and declared a 24.3% hike in the interim dividend to 0.87p, (2020: 0.70p per share).

Macfarlane shares over 52 weeks

Chairman Stuart Paterson said the firm was benefiting from the “ongoing structural shift” to e-commerce trading and a recovery in certain industrial sectors which were impacted by Covid in the first half of 2020.

“Packaging distribution has grown sales through strong demand from existing customers in the e-commerce retail and medical sectors and recovery in a number of industrial sectors,” he said.

“The performance of the business in the first half of 2021 continues to demonstrate the effectiveness of our strategy and the resilience of our business model. 

“We expect the second half of 2021 to be challenging as we anticipate further inflationary pressure on input prices, continuing supply constraints on most raw materials and operating costs increasing due to staffing pressures. 

“However, the group has previously demonstrated effective management of these challenges and, as a result of this and the performance in H1 2021, the board expects the group will exceed its previous expectations for the full year.”

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