Group profit before tax ahead of previous year










£000 £000 %
Statutory measures
Revenue 280,714 290,431 (3%)
Gross profit 105,681 98,057 8%
Operating profit 22,068 21,496 3%
Profit before tax 20,280 19,934 2%
Profit for the year 14,974 15,637 (4%)
Interim and proposed final dividend (pence) 3.59p 3.42p 5%
Basic earnings per share (pence) 9.44p 9.89p (5%)
Alternative performance measures 
Adjusted operating profit 27,637 25,073 10%
Adjusted profit before tax 25,849 23,511 10%
  • See notes to the financial information below for reconciliation of Alternative Performance Measures (before charging amortisation and deferred contingent consideration adjustments) to Statutory Measures.
  • Group revenue reduced by 3% versus 2022 to £280.7m.
  • Adjusted Group profit before tax grew 10% from £23.5m to £25.8m.
  • Group profit before tax at £20.3m increased by 2% after charging £1.5m for deferred contingent consideration related to the acquisition of PackMann Gessellschaft fur Verpackungen und Dienstleistungen mbH (‘PackMann’), which delivered a stronger operating performance than previously anticipated.
  • Basic and diluted earnings per share were 9.44p per share (2022: 9.89p per share) and 9.34p per share (2022: 9.78p per share) respectively largely due the higher tax rate of 23.5% in 2023 (2022: 19.0%).

Packaging Distribution

  • Packaging Distribution revenue decreased by 6% to £244.9m (2022: £259.7m).
  • Weak demand from customers in the UK and Ireland and sales price deflation were partially offset by a stronger new business performance, good sales momentum in Europe and the benefits of the acquisitions of PackMann in May 2022 and Gottlieb Packaging Materials Limited (‘Gottlieb’) in April 2023, which are both performing well.
  • Gross margins increased to 35.7% (2022: 32.1%) reflecting effective management of input price changes which has offset inflationary increases in some operating costs.
  • Adjusted operating profit increased by 6% to £21.0m (2022: £19.9m) and operating profit decreased by 3% to £16.5m (2022: £17.1m), after charging £1.5m for deferred contingent consideration adjustments.



Manufacturing Operations

  • Manufacturing Operations delivered revenue growth of 16% to £35.8m (2022: £30.8m).
  • E. Sutton Limited (‘Suttons’), acquired in February 2023, and B&D 2010 Group Limited (‘B&D Group’), acquired at the end of September 2023, made strong contributions offsetting the slower demand in certain industrial markets.
  • Adjusted operating profit increased by 27% to £6.6m (2022: £5.2m) and operating profit increased by 26% to £5.6m (2022: £4.4m).


  • Net cash inflow from operating activities of £33.5m (2022: £18.0m) reflects strong working capital management.
  • Net bank funds were £0.5m on 31 December 2023, following a net cash inflow of £4.0m in the year, even after £16.6m (2022: £11.9m) of investment in acquisitions and capital expenditure.
  • The Group is operating well within its bank facility of £35.0m and relevant covenants which run until 31 December 2025.
  • Pension Scheme surplus of £9.9m at 31 December 2023 (31 December 2022: £10.2m). Following conclusion of the 2023 triennial valuation nil contributions are required from 1 January 2024 forward.
  • Board proposes a final dividend of 2.65p per share (2022: 2.52p per share) payable on 30 May 2024, taking the total dividend for 2023 to 3.59p per share (2022: 3.42p per share) up 5% on 2022.



I am pleased to report that, against a backdrop of challenging market conditions, Macfarlane Group PLC has once again demonstrated the resilience of its business model and achieved another year of profit growth in 2023. In addition, we have made good progress against our ESG objectives.



Group profit before tax in 2023 was ahead of the previous year. This profit growth has been achieved through the completion of three high quality acquisitions, effective management of input prices, good progress in Europe and stronger new business momentum which has offset weak customer demand in the UK and Ireland, sales price deflation and inflation in operating costs.

We funded £16.6m (2022: £11.9m) of acquisition and capital investment activity through our existing bank facilities due to the Group’s continued strong operating cash flows. Net bank funds at 31 December 2023 were £0.5m.

The pension scheme remains in surplus and, following conclusion of the latest triennial valuation, company contributions have been reduced to £nil.

This robust performance has been achieved through the continued commitment and dedication of all our Macfarlane colleagues and I thank them for their efforts.


Environment, Social and Governance (“ESG”)

Our updated ESG Strategy focuses on: reducing the environmental impact of our operations; guiding and supporting our customers to achieve their sustainability objectives; caring for our colleagues; and investing in and engaging with our communities.

In 2023, the Group made progress on our commitment to reducing the Group’s impact on the environment through: further electrification of our delivery fleet; extending the use of renewable energy; increasing the support we offer to our customers, including on sustainable packaging, through the opening of our second Innovation Lab; and improving our portfolio of sustainable packaging products.




Board Changes

Bob McLellan, Senior Independent Director, retired from the Board at the end of December 2023 and the Board would like to thank Bob for his invaluable contribution over the past 10 years. The recruitment process for a Non-Executive Director has commenced and an announcement will be made in due course when a suitable candidate has been appointed.

James Baird, Audit Committee Chair, has been appointed Senior Independent Director.


Proposed Dividend

The Board proposes a final dividend of 2.65 pence per share, amounting to a full year dividend of 3.59 pence per share (2022: 3.42 pence per share), an increase of 5%. Subject to the approval of shareholders at the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 7 May 2024 the final dividend will be paid on Thursday 30 May 2024 to those shareholders on the register at Friday 10 May 2024 (ex dividend date 9 May 2024).



We expect the year ahead to remain challenging due to uncertainty over customer demand. However, we are confident that we will continue to make progress in 2024 through strong new business momentum, a well-developed pipeline of potential acquisitions, the continued effective management of input prices and operational efficiencies.


Further enquiries: Macfarlane Group Tel: 0141 333 9666
Aleen Gulvanessian          Chair
Peter Atkinson                  Chief Executive
Ivor Gray                            Finance Director
Spreng Thomson
Callum Spreng Mob: 07803 970103


Legal Entity Identifier (LEI): 213800LVRYDERSJAAZ73

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