- Landscape products group Marshalls swung to a first-half loss as the pandemic sapped demand, though it said it had seen a better-than-expected recovery in recent months.

Pre-tax losses for the six months through June amounted to £16.0m, compared to losses of £37.1m on-year. Revenue slumped 25% to £210.5m.

Marshalls, which also booked £17.6m of restructuring costs, did not declare an interim dividend.

On a more positive note, it said trading had improved further since the half-year end, with revenue in the month of July at 94% of the 2019 comparative period.

In the month of August, revenue was at 100% of the 2019 comparative period.

Net debt at the end of June was £53.9m, down from £55.6m on-year.

Marshalls confirmed its intention to repay in full the furlough monies it had received from the UK government of £9.4m.

'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.'

Story provided by