In the six months to 30th June 2020 Marshalls saw its turnover fall 25% to £210.5m (2019 H1: £280.1m) amid the Covid-19 crisis.
After spending £17.6m on restructuring to cope with the downturn, it made a pre-tax loss of £16.0m for the first half (2019 H1: £37.1m profit).
The operational restructuring announced in May is now complete, with 15% of employees laid off and manufacturing sites in Falkirk, Llan and Livingston closed down, along with a number of Premier Mortars sites. This is expected to save £12m a year in fixed costs.
In July sales rebounded to 94% of what they were last year and August 2020 reached the same level as August 2019.
"Although business confidence and market demand remain uncertain, recent trading has been better than expected and continues to improve,” chief executive Martyn Coffey said. “Our restructuring programme is now complete and the new bank facilities have further strengthened the group. The decisive actions that have been taken have improved the efficiency and flexibility of our plants and will help Marshalls to emerge from the current market difficulties in a stronger competitive position."
He added: “The nature of the concrete manufacturing process means our facilities have short re-start times and low cost requirements. This flexibility and our improved efficiency means that capacity will not be materially reduced by the operational restructuring changes and we will continue to satisfy our customers' requirements.”
The full year results are expected to show an operating profit, he said.