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Marshalls suffers from wet weather

Landscaping supplier Marshalls saw sales slide as a result of the wettest summer since records began.

Marshalls’ revenue for the six months ended 30 June 2012 was £167m, 5% lower than last year (2011: £177m; 2010: £163m).

The company estimates that the weather has cost it around £10m in sales (equivalent to 6 days’ installations).

Underlying sales to the Public Sector and Commercial end market, which represent approximately 64% of Marshalls’ sales, were 2% below last year but are broadly in line with expectations.

Sales to the Domestic end market, for which the second quarter of the year is an important trading period, were adversely affected by the poor weather and were lower by 14% compared with the previous year.

Due to an £8m investment in Belgium, net debt has increased to £84m (2011: £71m) in line with budget expectations.

The company says that, encouragingly, the survey of domestic installers at the end of June 2012 revealed order books of 9.0 weeks (2011: 7.0 weeks) compared with 7.5 weeks at the end of April 2012 (2011: 7.1 weeks). However, this is, in part, due to the backlog created by the exceptionally poor working conditions.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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