And having its own transport fleet has helped Marshalls keep on the move when others are struggling to find drivers.
With half-year results better than in pre-Covid 209, the company says that it “expects to meet or outperform’ market expectations for the full year.
For the six months to 30th June 2021, Marshalls generated revenue of £298.1m (2020: £210.5m) – up 42% against 2020 and up 6% against 2019. Pre-tax profit for the half-year was £38.9m, compared to £37.1m in 209 and a loss of £16.0m last year, when the first national lockdown impacted on business.
Chief executive Martyn Coffey said that shortages of both raw materials and truck drivers had contributed to cost inflation, which is being passed on to customers in the form of price rises.
He said: “We have seen strong order books and, consistent with the rest of the construction sector, have experienced the heightened operational challenge brought upon with increased demand for Marshalls products. The group's national network of concrete manufacturing sites and quarries has continued to support a flexible operating framework, which has enabled us to manage supply and demand across the network and to control lead times as far as possible. There have been periods when cement has been on supply allocation and reduced raw material availability has required proactive management to ensure the continued supply of packaging, steel, timber and aggregates. The short supply of sea freight containers has also caused transport costs to increase significantly.
“Our objective continues to be to mitigate inflation by using dynamic and alternative solutions to ensure operational continuity and cost control. However, raw material shortages across the construction sector and reduced numbers of HGV drivers within the third party haulage market are causing costs to increase, which we are recovering successfully through price increases. We continue to benefit from having our own vehicle fleet, which covers a substantial proportion of deliveries, and our aim is to increase logistics efficiency and vehicle utilisation.”