Macfarlane full-year expectations unchanged despite ‘challenging’ start to 2024

MACFARLANE Group has issued a trading update confirming the firm’s full-year performance expectations for 2024 are unchanged.

The business will today hold its AGM, at which chair Aleen Gulvanessian will provide a trading update covering the year to date.

Macfarlane said that, as ‘anticipated’, the start of 2024 has been ‘challenging’ with first quarter sales and profits below the same period in 2023. Despite this, expectations for the full year are unchanged.

Sales in the first quarter were 9.5% lower than the same period in 2023 with continued weak customer demand and price deflation, while the profit impact was partially offset by strong gross margins and the benefit of acquisitions.

The group expects an improved trading performance in the second half of 2024 through the conversion of a strong new business pipeline combined with some sales recovery from existing customers, good management of gross margins, control of costs, and further benefits from M&A activity.

Net bank funds at 31 March 2024 were £4.7 million, an improvement on the position at 31 December 2023 (£500,000).

Aleen Gulvanessian will further comment, “On presenting our 2023 results we indicated that the challenging market conditions experienced in the latter part of 2023 would continue into 2024 and this has been the case. We expect some improvement in trading conditions in the second half of 2024 and we have a clear plan of management actions to enable the Group to continue its progress.”