Exclusive: Britain needs to keep building says Marshalls boss
The Government must continue its plans to boost domestic infrastructure, argued the boss of building giant Marshalls.
Chief executive Martyn Coffey told City A.M. such projects were key for future economic growth, and was optimistic that the company’s plans would not be curtailed by policy changes.
He said: “The government, in my view, cannot cut back in terms of money it is already committed and its future to commencing construction without really nosediving the economy. We’ve got a good view of what’s ahead at the moment, that seems positive.”
This included HS2 – the high speed rail link between London and the North – and plans to rejuvenate Birmingham with new infrastructure.
Experts forecast that the UK is on the verge of a recession this year, amid a slowdown in productivity and booming inflation which has hit 10.1 per cent.
Meanwhile, the Government has committed to “levelling-up” the country, partly through building projects that connect parts of the country to London, alongside factories and businesses being constructed outside the South East.
Coffey’s comments come as Marshalls unveiled robust results for the first six months of trading this year, boosted by its acquisition of roofing company Marley.
This included a 17 per cent hike in revenues to £348.4m and a 15 per cent boost in operated profits, which soared to £48m.
The company has now lifted its dividend 21 per cent to 5.7p.
It has also predicted full-year results in line with market expectations despite private households reigning in spending.
The paving specialist revealed its building products business enjoyed a strong performance in the first half of the year, while its landscaping business was hit by softer demand for home improvements.
Nevertheless, the Marshalls was bullish about its future plans, and said a “structural” deficit in the UK’s housing sector and a strong job market will see strong demand for newbuilds going forwards that will in turn prop up demand for Marshall’s supplies.