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Shares in Marshalls are jostling for the top spot of the FTSE All Share this morning after the paving and concrete maker reported full year profits before tax rose 31 per cent on the previous year, to £46m.

The landscaping group, which earns the majority of its profits in the UK, said improved operating margins of 12 per cent, increasing from 9.7 per cent the previous year, were behind the solid performance. It upped dividends per share from 6.25p in 2015 to 9.65p.

Marshalls chief executive, Martyn Coffey, also said that sales and order intake had been “strong” so far this year.

Although sales to public sector and commercial clients were broadly flat, the group increased sales to the home improvers of its domestic market by 10 per cent year on year.

The £630m market cap group operates 13 concrete manufacturing sites in the UK, alongside quarries for paving, walling and cladding.

Marshalls said that acquiring additional companies was a key part of its strategy – although ” given current market uncertainty, our approach remains cautious.”

Shares in Marshalls were up nearly 5 per cent in early trading in London.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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